Thursday, January 29, 2009

Candy Cane Party

I had mentioned earlier my interest in doing a Candy Cane party with my leftover candy canes from Christmas. Now, this is not a post about what I have's just, I thought I'd share my ideas...what I'm considering, and maybe you'll find it interesting or helpful and get to it long before I will! goes nothing....

Originally (since I like candy canes) I wanted to do a red and white themed party where we eat candy canes, and candy cane related items, and play some games, and have a devotion about who Jesus is(using the candy cane as an object lesson).

The Candy Cane:
  • Is the letter J, and reminds us of the name of Jesus
  • Is in the shape of a shepherds staff, and reminds us that Jesus is our good shepherd
  • Is red, like our sins
  • Is white, like our purity once Jesus forgives us
Now, after researching the Candy Cane, I found out this really is not any of the history of the candy's just been imposed upon it. So, I'm beginning to wonder if that's really the direciton I would go. Other options are as follows:

Whiter Than Snow party (for a kids party)

  • God's grace and love makes us whiter than snow!
  • Tell the greatest story of all... the story of Jesus' birth, his death, and his resurrection
  • Make snowflakes
  • Eat candy canes---red and white
  • Play some outdoor games in the snow
  • Eat red and white foods, and snowflake shaped foods
Peppermint Party - (more for a ladies retreat)
  • God is the one who makes us fresh and clean!
  • Eat red and white foods
  • Have red and white decorations
  • Read the story of God's love for us
  • Play some sort of peppermint smelling game
  • Make peppermint flavored foods/recipe gifts for those to take home/give to others
Here are some helpful links I found while researching:

And this is something we made many years, to put in our mailbox for our mailman every Christmas
Wow....after typing all that, I think it really would be fun to get one of these going! Hope you have fun with it too!

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Try and Try Again

Here is my attempt an another Indian meal:
Chicken Mapas and Green Pepper Toran with Chapatis.

The "Chicken" Mapas was really good, although I didn't have chicken on hand and used some frozen pork instead! And the Chapaits were nice and soft too. The only not so good part was the Toran, or salad. All torans use coconut as the main ingredient, and then varied other veggies for different tastes. Since we didn't have fresh coconut, I thought I'd try the frozen stuff we had. I knew it was sweetend, but didn't know how much! I thought maybe the curry powder and salt would cover up the sugar....but it didn't work. It was more like a dessert than a vegetable side! I know! :)

Here is the Chicken recipe though (I couldn't get it to copy the recipe, so you'll have to click on the link)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009


Last Saturday we had some Mormon's stop by our house on their "neighborhood calls." Not being the brave one, I don't usually tend to pursue much of a conversation with them. But, an article I read in an old Discipleship Journal, has really changed and challeneged me to trust God more, and see people as people.

I tried finding the article online so I could link it for you and you could read it for yourselves, but it's not available.

Basically, it's called "I was the MORMON next door." And is about how a mormon was converted by the simple and consistent witness of his neighbor. In fact, Edward (the mormon) was hoping to convert Bob (his neighbor), but God used Bob to reach him instead. In the article, he shares what worked to reach him, and how we need to not be afraid, but pray and reach out to Mormons too.

Here are some of the Key elements he encouraged:

Prayer Points - Edward Kelly Jr.

"Bob regularly prayed Acts 26:18 for me. Here are other scriptural prayers to pray for your Mormon friends.

  • That the Holy Spirit would bring conviction and repentance (Jn 6:44, 16:7-8, 2 Cor 7:10)
  • That God would open their ears and eyes (Is 42:7, 50:4-5, Mt 13:13-15, 2 Cor 4:4-6)
  • That God would prepare their hearts to receive the Word (Mt 13:1-9, Lk 24:45. Acts 16:14)
  • That God would shape events in their lives for a divine encounter (Acts 17:26, 27)

Also, pray for God to protect you and your families and those ministering/reaching out....the devil isn't just going to stand by idly and watch!

  • Psalm 91
  • Ps 27:1,3-5, 46:1-11, 62:5-7
  • Eph 6:10-19
  • Rev 12:10-11" - Edward Kelly Jr.

Another section that he wrote about was key verses to use with Mormons:

  • Scripture is the final authority (Is 8:20, Acts 17:10-11, 2 Timothy 3:16-17)
  • There is only one God (Dt 4:35,39, 6:4, 1 Chron 17:20, Is 43:10-12, 44:6-8, 45:5-6,18,21-22, Gal 4:8)
  • God is eternal and unchanging (Num 23:19, Dt 33:27, Ps 41:13, 90:2, 106:48, Is 40:28, 44:6,8, 45:18,21, Jer 10:10, Hos 11:9, Mal 3:6, Heb 13:8, Jas 1:17)
  • Jesus is God (Is 9:6, Mic 5:2, Jn 1:1-2,14-15,8:58, 17:5, 20:28, Rev 1:8)
  • We are saved by grace (Jn 1:12, Ro 3:20-28, 5:1, 10:8-13)

He made sure we realized it was God's doing, God's timing, God's words, God's choice! The important thing is to stay in prayer, be in God's word, and practice gentleness and respect. Let God do His work through you.

Have any of you had experiences with Mormons?

I pray that you keep an open heart and courage for Christ....and please keep us in your prayers too!



Monday, January 26, 2009

Something to Think About

I recieved Crown Financial's Money Matter's magazine in the mail the other day. In one of the articles, there was this thought-provoking quote:

"S.D. Gordon once stated,
'The greatest thing anyone can do for God and man is pray.
It is not the only thing, but it is the chief thing.
The great people of the earth today are the people who pray.
I do not mean those who talk about prayer,
nor those who say they believe in prayer,
nor yet those who can explain about prayer;
but I mean those people who take time to pray.' "

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Some Good Books

Here is some of the recent finds at our public library! Two of these books I've already checked out before, and was glad to see them back in because they are some of my favorites (Tips book and Meals for Good Health)
The two little ones on top are chinese cook books with lots of vegetable ideas. Yum!
I'll have to let you know of the good recipes I find in them....since I haven't actually had time to look in them yet *sheepish grin*

Saturday, January 24, 2009

God's Word

"The grass withers and the flower fades, but the Word of our Lord stands forever!" Isaiah 40:8

Last night we had Bible study over at Matt & Conchas. We girls just started a new study, and are going to be working our way through the book Purpose Driven Life. But, before every lesson, we're going to do something kind of fun and practical at the same time (an idea that Ula actually used to do with us in class).

Basically, we have a list (8 right now) of partial verses from the Bible. We will take one, look up in our concordances and by logical reasoning, where to find that in the Bible. We then write down the reference and the rest of the verse. Finally, we "translate" that verse into common if we were talking to someone at the grochery store or a friend etc. Here is the example we did last night:

" He who knoweth the good thing to do, and doeth it not......" (yes, they are in king james version)

So, we looked up the word "good", and kind of knew it was in the New Testament, so looked there first. We found it in James 4:17 "He who knoweth the good thing to do, and doeth it not sins."

Then, we discussed how to translate it best. First, we said "If you know the right things to do and don't do them, you sin." But, after more discussion, we decided "sin" was not a common word in our generation right now, unless you've been raised in church. So, we looked up the dictionary definition (in the Bible dictionary in the back of one of our Bibles), and here is our final translation:

If you know the right thing to do, and choose not to do it, you're breaking God's law. James 4:17

After translating it, we went back to our Bibles version, and doubled checked ourselves to make sure we were accurate.

It really was a neat exercise.....and very valuable in learning how to use your Bible. We glanced at the verse for next week, and it should be a challenging one.... "It was better for them to have not known righteoussness than...."

We discussed the first chapter of our book, and will read ahead for next week to discuss the next chapter.

Lastly, here is a quote I liked from Chapter One:

"God is not just the starting point of your life; he is the source of it."

Good Deals....A Gift


I saw deal on Hip to Save for juice and granola bars at Target this week, and decided to try it out. Before I went, I checked on the daily coupon from our grochery store, and was pleasantly surprised with it this time.....1 pound of free bananas. Of course, that only means 2 really, but still, since we were out of fresh fruit I thought it was a neat gift from God to us for this week!

I went to the store, and because of a coupon error I still don't understand, they said I had to buy all the above bananas in order to make the coupon work...and I got them all for 13 cents!!! Wow! So, instead of 2 for free....I'm okay with this many, for some pennies!

Next I went to Target, and picked up these 3 boxes of bars and 2 juices for $1.11. But, I had a gift card (from our bank last month), and so paid nothing out of pocket! I like it, because we will really use these items too! I feel more than a little blessed this week!

James 3:17
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Taste of Minnesota

Last night we had a fun time trying out The Taste of Minnesota for the first time (thanks to the generosity of some friends of ours!)
We went at 6:30....and basically, they hand you a plate and say "Walk around and make your choice!" (It's alot like feast of nations in that way)
Here are some of their options we tried:
Chicken Wild Rice Soup (my favorite)...fry bread...thai peanut salad...pulled pork...beef stew...squash soup...and a rasberry cream.

And some others:

Wild rice cranberry salad, fudge, cracker with blueberry jam, fresh fruit, lemon muffin, crusty bread, and a red bean roll. In the background is a small cup of strawberry smoothie (my second favorite!)

There were lots of restaraunts and buisnesses represented, and some had really fancy displays set up (like the ice sculture from the Country Club in the top picture).

We had fun visiting with Alvin & Molly, and some other co-workers we saw.

Now I just need to find out how to make that soup........ :)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Another Supper

We had another friend over for supper the other night, and his young daughter too.

While the guys had a good time visiting in the living room, we had great fun in the kitchen where we were working on supper.
While making spaghetti, we found the food coloring in the cupboard and decided to have some fun!
She had the most fun making colored water....although, she mostly liked blue and green and ended up making most of the water all one color-combination of everything!
The only problem was, while we were having fun, we forgot the garlic bread in the oven....ooops. *sheepish grin*

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Fun with Friends

Last Friday night we invited all our students over for supper. It ended up being quite a crowd and we had lots of fun!

We had 10 of us around the table and ate up a huge pan of Pulao Rice and one skillet of chili chicken plus bread and cake for dessert (it was two of their birthdays that week).
After that, we played a loud game of spoons.
And then, we sat around the kitchen table and visited about Hinduism, Christianity, and Buddism till about midnight!
But it is always lots of fun to have them over, and the conversation was very interesting!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Snow Lights

Growing up, my parents always made these cool luminaries when the weather got cold enough. I guess I had forgotten that I could make them too, until just recently.
So I used an ice cream bucket, a sqare tupperware, and a round tupperware (fairly large ones).
I put them out and lit the candles, and have really enjoyed them alot! They're easy to make too.
I filled the containers with water and then left them out on the step for 4 hours one cold evening. Then, take them inside, use a chisel or screwdriver to punch a hole in the top and then dump out the water into the bathtub. You should have a frozen ring with a bottom now. Run some hot water carefully over the outside of the container to loosen the ice, and then pull out the shape and set outside with a candle! :)

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Savings Site

If you haven't found it yet, check out this saver's blog....

I can't get the links to work quite right yet, but if you look on the Left Hand side under "Printable Coupons," and then go back 2 pages, you'll see a couple great coupon posts:

1. Baking Soda (It's called "New Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Coupons")
2. Hunt's tomato sauce (It's called "Get $6 dollars in coupons")

I paired both these coupons up with local sales last week (and I see they're still on sale this week) for free items! It was great!

Happy Holidays

Here are some creative jump-starts for January! (italics are edits by me)

January Unique & Bizzare Holidays
National Blood Donor Month
National Braille Literacy Month
National Hobby Month
Hot Tea Month
National Oatmeal Month
National Soup Month
12 National Pharmacist Day
13 Make Your Dream Come True Day
14 Dress Up Your Pet Day
15 National Hat Day (wear a hat today!)
16 National Nothing Day (wonderful time to study the beginnings of our world...creation vs. evolution)
17 Ditch New Years Resolutions Day
18 Thesaurus Day
18 Winnie the Pooh Day -The Birthday of Winnie's author A.A. Milne (tea party anyone?)
19 Martin Luther King Jr. Birthday , celebrated on the third Monday
19 National Popcorn Day (caramel popcorn, regular popcorn, invite-some-kids-over kind of popcorn)
20 National Buttercrunch Day
20 Penguin Awareness Day (have you seen March of the Penguins? Invite someone over for brownies and the movie)
21 National Hugging Day
21 Squirrel Appreciation Day (did you know how many colors they come in?)
22 National Blonde Brownie Day (delicious....maybe make some for your co-workers)
23 National Pie Day (do you have a favorite? our is chocolate-chip pie)
23 National Handwriting Day (have you hand written any letters recently?)
23 Measure Your Feet Day-
24 Compliment Day (how are you about thinking of others first? take a challenge today!)
25 Opposite Day (are you working with toddlers? how about some active opposite games?)
26 Spouse's Day (do something special today)
27 Chocolate Cake Day
27 Punch the Clock Day
28 Fun at Work Day (lighten up!)
28 National Kazoo Day (have you ever tried rounds with the Kazoo?)
29 National Puzzle Day (Try a new one as a family or invite some friends over)
29 National Cornchip Day
31 Backward Day (how about eating a meal in backward order?)

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Learning Hospitality

One thing I'm constantly learning and do love reading up and studying on, is hospitality. I've found a neat list of books that I'm "paitently" waiting for through our library. Also, I have many friends and relatives to be thankful for, for their wonderful tips, ideas, and examples!

Do you have any favorite verses, resources, links, books, or stories about hospitality?

Here is a recent succesful meal idea:

Oyster Stew


Fresh Lettuce Salad with Italian Dressing

Mint Ice-Cream Cake

Saturday, January 10, 2009


Uh...I didn't know you could ruin Chex Mix.....but just in case you were can *sheepish grin*

I was going to make a "quick snack" and had all the ingredients on hand. After looking up the recipe online, I saw it took an HOUR in the oven....but only 15 minutes in the microwave! Yay!

So, I put it in the microwave, and 3 minutes later had smoke pouring out the door. Hmmm. Maybe that didn't work as planned....since I ended up burning one of my bowls, 1/2 my batch of mix, and using more time in clean-up than previously planned.

So my suggestion to you....just plan ahead, and use the oven! :)

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Walnuts & Almonds

I went to Walgreens for milk....and I found these wonderful goodies in the Christmas clearance section. I am very happy, since I like these in cookies, on salads, in fried rice, and in trail mix. I got 8 bags for about 40 cents each! Yipee! My first trial of these was some Almond Cookies last night from my Taste of Home cookie book. Here is a similar recipe if you'd like to try it....they were good and fast!

Chinese Almond Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp almond extract
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp baking soda
3 cups flour
Almonds for top
1 egg white + 1/2 tsp water

Heat the oven to 325. Beat the sugar and butter together. Add the egg and extract. Mix well. Dump in dry ingredients and mix. Roll into 1 inch balls, place on ungreased cookie sheet. Press flat with a fork, and press an almond in the top. Brush each cookie with the egg white mixture, and bake for 8-12 minutes.

New Year's Eve

We went to church and ate and played games

See all the goodies!

(This was a bisquit appetizer wreath topped with dip and veggies)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Sweet Deals

This was my sweet deal last Saturday. Mathew and I had a "day out" doing errands and such.
1st of all, we checked out some information at Affinity Bank on their savings rates. We were pleasantly surprised with a couple of their programs, one of them even being a rewards checking account, for which you can earn a gift card every month. Their service there is really great, easy to get a hold of someone, lots of resources, and competitive rates. I'd encourage you to check out if there is one near you!
2nd, we decided to use a gift card to Applebees for a special lunch out, since it'd been a while since we'd gone to a nice restaruant together. I had chicken pasta and salad with a strawberry lemonaid....delicious! We were able to have a nice long visit over lunch, too.
3rd, we decided to check out Target's Christmas clearance since we also had a gift card for there. Above was our good deals. I have been looking for a squegee, so was happy they had one in their dollar section! Also, the chocolate chips were free, the egg nog mix makes 8 cups for $1, and the candy canes were 25 save for another idea I have.
I'm so thankful for the day!

Saturday, January 3, 2009


My future sister-in-law made these neat star ornaments. I'm sure they don't just have to be for Christmas....and would look really pretty catching the sunlight.
All she did was buy a heavy beading-gauge wire, and cut a long length of it. She laid it on the table and then bent it into a zig-zag shape.

She pulled the wire into a circle, using 4 of the zig-zags, and making a fifth point by twisting the two ends together and making a hook.

She then strung green beads onto another smaller gauge wire, and wound that around the star shape, twisting the end and pinching near the top hook.

Friday, January 2, 2009

More Snow

Snow is pretty amazing!

For interesting snowfall stats in the U.S., see this site.
  • The Biggest snowflake measured 15 inches across
  • To learn about William Bently, the Snowflake Man, see here.
  • To see real snow crystal pictures, check out this link.
  • And if there's still more you want to know, go here.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Let it Snow

As if we don't have enough snow are ways we bring it in!

These are cool paper trees Mom made this year. I don't know how she made them, but you can make snowflakes here.


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