Book Must-Haves!

Friday, December 2, 2011

I recently decided to invest some of my "caking" money in a couple of book purchases.  From the advice of a very trusted friend, I decided to purchase a new book to assist us with our Advent celebrations.  A Family Advent - Keeping the Savior in the Season  I found a free pdf dowload (through December 2011) for it and was using it until my hard copy arrived.  ... and beautiful it is!  I'm loving the layout of this book!!  It's well written and not so lengthy that a family with young children can't get through it.  It has an opening section for each week's theme, individual day sections, activities/facts, and a closing prayer for each day.  We have greatly enjoyed it so far... and now, I too, highly recommend this book (thanks Christin!).

Another investment I went with was also a recommendation from a good friend.  Get Wisdom!:  23 Lessons for Children About Living for Jesus  I am LOVING this book as well.  The layout is absolutely PERFECT for younger kids (I'd say preK through about 2nd grade or so).  It has pages for traits that children need to learn to grow in Christ... and they're well-written, not too lengthy, and full of interactive introspective questions.  Big G really listened when we did this... WOW!  That's saying a lot friends.  Seriously.  ;-)  Anyway, this is definitely another recommendation to pass along to all of you as well.  (thanks Kara!).

My friends (and their book recommendations) rock.  :-)


November is Flying By!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

The land of homeschooling, caking, and IT work has been busy here!  Big G has been working hard on her 3 R's, and we're seeing some real progress so far in her Kindergarten year!  She's getting much better at cutting more complicated patterns too.
Our first month of the Book It! program through Pizza Hut had us reading our BOB books in a fury!  She earned her first free pizza certificate last month!  Little G is still trying to figure out how to get one of those as well.
We also have enjoyed using a new site a friend recommended for our handwriting practice.  They have TONS of worksheets for almost every subject!  We've used several including my favorite, the handwriting worksheets where you can enter the text you want your child to either trace or copy, and then it creates a pdf file for you to save or print.  This has been AWESOME!  We've used it to reinforce our AWANA memory verses for church, theme sentences to go along with our Five-in-a-Row books, and unit studies.  We just finished "In fourteen hundred and ninety-two Columbus sailed the ocean blue."  A very handy tool!

We also spent some time in Kansas City at Children's Mercy taking care of some minor things, and decided to have some fun while we were up there!  Cabela's is great - like a mini Bass Pro.  

And T Rex Cafe is... AWESOME! 

I've been working on my own set of skills as well.  I had the opportunity to do my friend's son's first birthday cake.  And what fun it was!   For the larger half sheet cake with "one", we did a double layer classic almond white wedding cake with buttercream icing.  The smaller 1 was baby J's smash cake and was also a classic almond white wedding cake in one layer.  We added some touches of owls to tie into the rest of the theme.  I think they turned out nice.  Oh, and a thank you to Kara Guffey Photography for the great pictures of the cake!

And last but not least, with Thanksgiving so close, I'm also gearing up for the onset of Advent. Last year, we kind of muddled through our first year as a family to observe it. I had found some online resources to print out, but my friend recommended this book as a very nice, comprehensive Advent book - perfect for a family like ours!  I look forward to getting this for our family to use this year!


What's it Gonna BEE?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

After quite a hiatus, I'm back to blogging... awhile back I had the honor of doing a gender-reveal cake for a friend.
This one was tough. I KNEW her little girl oh so desperately wanted a little sister! She already has a herd of brothers... could she handle another?!
Sooooo, when I recieved the sealed envelope with the ultrasound picture inside, I didn't need a label on it to tell me this little baby was going to be a BOY! So, the brain storming began... what could we do to make this cake fun on the outside and have a few special things on the inside? After deciding on the bee theme, I also decided to include a special message to the family. This was a fun cake to do, and I look forward to getting to do more of them in the future!!


How To Make Home-Made Butter

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

My friend Sarah over at Faded Country shared with me how to make butter using a mixer. Well, bless her heart, she did it with a hand held mixer, but I was lucky enough to have a stand mixer... and it worked GREAT! So, here's how it goes:

Get some real cream, I prefer to use the cream off a raw whole milk if I'm lucky enough to have a "fatty" batch! Pour the cream (maybe after carefully scooping if off the settled milk) into your mixing bowl. Closer to room temperature is preferred and will cut down on your "churning" time. I think fired up the ol' Kitchenaid to almost high using the whisk attachment.

It whisked and whisked and whisked for probably 20 minutes before it finally began to separate. The curdles are what will be the butter and the clearer liquid is what is considered buttermilk. You'll keep both parts to use - don't toss out that fabulous buttermilk!!

Once your mixture has separated, pour off the buttermilk, and begin squeezing the solid butter to help it release more of the liquid in it. Continue to squeeze it to get water out as best you can. This will help it to "keep" better.

Once you're done squeezing, you can wrap it and store it in the fridge or freezer. I just kept mine in a lidded container in the fridge. If you used a raw milk from a good farm with healthy cows, you now have some great butter free of anything extra you might not want in there!!

Happy Cooking!

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I Wanna Read!

  • The Way They Learn - Tobias
  • Teaching the Trivium - Bluedorn
  • The Well-Trained Mind
  • Get Wisdom! - Ruth Younts
  • Little House on the Prairie series - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • The Pursuit of Holiness - Jerry Bridges
  • Primal - Mark Batterson
  • Hipster Christianity - Brett McCracken
  • Gospel Powered Parenting - William P. Farley
  • Five Things Every Christian Needs to Grow - RC Sproul
  • When People are Big and God is Small - Edward T. Welch
  • Chosen by God - RC Sproul
  • The Discipline of Grace - Jerry Bridges
  • Radical - David Platt

Reading it Now!

  • The New Read-Aloud Handbook - Trelease
  • Honey for a Child's Heart - Gladys Hunt
  • Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder
  • Bringing up Boys - Dr James Dobson

Past Reads

  • The Three R's - Ruth Beechick
  • Mary Pride's Complete Guide to Homeschooling
  • What is a Healthy Church? - Mark Dever
  • What is a Healthy Church Member? - Thabiti M. Anyabwile
  • Feminine Appeal - Carolyn Mahaney
  • Shepherding a Child's Heart - Ted Tripp
  • Crazy Love - Francis Chan
  • When Life is Hard - James MacDonald
  • Food and Love - Dr. Gary Smalley
  • For Women Only - Shaunti Feldhahn
  • For Men Only - Jeff and Shaunti Feldhahn
  • The Gospel for Real Life - Jerry Bridges
  • Living the Cross Centered Life - CJ Mahaney
  • Captivating: Unveiling the Mystery of a Woman's Soul by John and Stasi Eldredge
  • Wild at Heart: Discovering the Secret of a Man's Soul - John Eldredge
  • Dare to Discipline - Dr. James Dobson
  • The No-Cry Sleep Solution - Elizabeth Pantley
  • Parenting is Not for Cowards by Dr. James Dobson
  • The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel
  • The Strong Willed Child by Dr. James Dobson

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