Posted in Cooking

Cherry Chip cookies

We’re having a cookout Wednesday night for our bible study group and I wanted to make something fun and quick. I came up with these tasty little cookies and here’s the recipe:

Preheat the oven to 375o

1 box of Cherry Chip cake mix

2 eggs

1/3 cup of canola oil

1 tsp. almond extract

a small bowl of powdered sugar

P1000673 - Copy Mix the first 4 ingredients together and set aside the powdered sugar for rolling the cookies in.

P1000674 - Copy The dough will be thick and sticky.

P1000675 - Copy Take a teaspoon of dough and roll it in the powdered sugar then place them on a cookie sheet about 1 1/2 – 2 ” apart.

P1000676 - Copy Because I don’t like washing my cookie sheets, I line them with either a Silpat or baking paper. Put them in the oven for about 6-10 minutes. Mine took closer to the 10 minute mark because I didn’t measure out exactly 1 teaspoon of batter.

P1000680 DELICIOUS!!! I ended up with exactly 27 cookies, but here again, that’s because I  didn’t measure the cookies. If you use a teaspoon scoop you should end up with about 3 dozen of these little delights.

PS. You can mix and match any cake mix with any flavor extract, i.e. White cake mix with Coconut extract, Chocolate cake with Almond extract, Yellow cake mix with Banana extract, Strawberry cake mix with Strawberry extract, Yellow cake mix with Rum extract, Red Velvet cake mix with Peppermint extract, or even French Vanilla cake mix with Orange extract. The options are endless.

Enjoy~Bam

Posted in Life

Dog Days of Summer

It’s nearing the end of May and we haven’t been nearly as warm as last year this same time. I can’t wait for the “dog days of summer”. Where did that term come from anyway?

I love the extra day light, listening to the crickets, and cicadas all night long. Sitting on the back porch watching all of the animals in the yard. Waiting for a nice breeze to come by, and just relaxing with a cold glass of peach iced tea…mmmm!!!

We try to keep the birds and other little animals happy. I thinks we’re doing a pretty good job.

IMG_20130413_091746_821 Beautiful yellow finches.

IMG_20130508_202120_598 Cute little bunny. We have two wild bunnies that live under our back deck.

IMG_20130525_135658_160 My husband just built this little squirrel feeder and placed it on a chunk of tree. (I had to take this picture looking out the window, which is why it didn’t turn out all that great.)

Relax and enjoy some quiet time!!!~Bam

Posted in Life

Worry, Worry, Worry

I’ll be the first to admit I really struggle with worrying. Sometimes I’ll get in such a state of worry that I think my heart will stop beating. It feels like there’s a vice closing in on my rib cage and I forget to breathe.

Clearly, I know this is wrong, and I don’t want to be this way. God clearly tells us not to worry!! Worry doesn’t change what’s happened, nor will it change what’s to come.

Matthew 6: 25-27 tells us

25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life? (NIV)

I’ve had almost convinced myself that this is a “genetic trait”, as both of my parents  have been worriers. I truly love my parents and they are wonderful people. However, I have noticed they’ve mellowed out over the years and have calmed down quite a bit. Reality is, I think we just let our minds wonder and somehow become convinced that something is going to go wrong or turn out badly, then our thoughts just start spiraling down from there. I should really start thinking more about God’s promised to protect us, feed us, keep us under His wings – so to speak. Surely if God promised to do something years ago His promises are still good today. He’s the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

I wonder how much worry is normal for a parent. Seriously, there is no good parenting handbook out there. It truly is a “learn as you go” experience, especially when you’re raising a kid that doesn’t think or feel the same as others. Surely, considering, I’m human God couldn’t expect me not to worry at all. But wait, that is what He expects of us.

I’ve been praying more about this more, because, I’ve decided I’d like to live a lot longer and at this rate I’m going to worry myself into the grave. I also feel my family is suffering because of it. I’m just not has happy as I can be and therefore I feel my family’s not as happy. Soon our son will be going off to college – learning new things, meeting new people, driving around town and the interstate more. Yes; I know I can not keep him in a bubble, but, I would love to try!!!

John 14: 27 says this:

27 Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid. (NIV)

I have to remember to continually pray for peace, love, kindness, and joy. To me that’s all there is to it. God says he’ll protect us, keep us and love us. What more can we ask for ?

God bless you and give you peace!!!~Bam

Posted in Life

Mother’s Day

Mother's DayAh, Mother’s Day!!!

The day that celebrates Mom’s all over the world. I love Mother’s Day, it’s a day to celebrate women of all kinds. I became a mom over eighteen years ago and have had times of despair, worry, tears, laughter, and pure joy. My life has been stressful, full of worry, sometimes chaotic, but mostly happier, more fun and more fulfilling. Certainly, the older my son gets the more I can enjoy him and the less I worry about him. (not to say I don’t still worry – I will always have concerns with his well being)!!

Jacob thinks an actual day set aside to celebrate moms is just stupid and completely illogical. He says to me “Moms should be celebrated everyday”!!  We’ll he does have a good point. Being a Mom is so much more than being attached biologically to someone. In my opinion, anyone who is taking care of someone else is a Mom. Just look at Mother Theresa, obviously she had no children of her own, but, she loved everyone she came in contact with just as a Mother would.  And, I’m sure she prayed for these people as a Mother should pray for her own children too. There are other women who have become the primary caregiver for their ailing parents (now the tables have turned and they are the Mom), women that are taking care of ill husband’s, women that are “mom’s” to their pets, Godmother’s, step-Moms and so-on. These women are all special.

I’m a firm believer that God gives us the children He wants us to have. He also gives us the ability to love them as they are, to raise them up and be productive citizens. (obviously they will have a mind  and will of their own at some point). When Jacob was diagnosed with High Functioning Aspergers I thought to God “why would you give me a child like this? How can I be the right person to raise him? I’m definitely not special in any way, how can I raise a special kid?”  However, throughout the years I’ve realized that clearly God knew what He was doing (He always does. Right?)  Jacob was a gift to me, more than I am to him. He makes me laugh even when I’m frustrated, because he just processes things differently, he can usually reason situations out that seem to be ridiculous otherwise. I’m sure my life would be a lot more boring without him.

Even as I’m typing this his brain is all sorts of busy – case in point:

Jake: Ever think about the word “would”.   Me: No!!    Jake: Well you should.   Me: Why?  Jake: It has to do the fallacies of the English language.   Me: (What???) Then he decides to take a nap – without any further discussion about it. See my world is NEVER boring!!!

That’s my life as a Mom!!! Happy Mother’s Day to all~Bam 🙂

Posted in Home Decorating and Crafts

The Front Door

The front of a house says so much to me about the people living there. You can drive down the street and almost see the homeowners’ personality by the front of a house.

With that said, our front door needs a little something. I have seasonal mini flags, and nice door mat and random wreaths I hang on the front door, but I after a few years of the same rotation, I’m getting kind of tired of them.
P1000670 I could just leave it plain? We’ll that really doesn’t suite my personality.

P1000671 But I made this instead. (I think I have a new favorite craft medium: Jute!!)

P1000642 Here’s how I did it: I bought a large “M”, some jute, pretty ribbon, and used my hot glue gun to piece it all together. The whole craft was less than $10.

P1000643 I started with hot glue at the bottom of the letter.

P1000644 Then, I started wrapping the jute very tightly up the letter. I used the glue at the edges to keep everything in place. At the top and bottom of the letter where the white was showing, I used a gold pen to color it in.

I have all kinds of ideas in my head for other door decorations. More to come with the seasons.

Happy Crafting~Bam 🙂

Posted in Life

Organization or Craziness??

I have an issue with organization. I love, love, love being organized, or at least trying to be. I have books on the bookshelves in order of interest. The Kitchen pantry is organized by like items, all of the soups are in one place, the sauces in another, the soup stock in their own place, the teas are all together. I feel a little better knowing that when I open the pantry I’ll be able to find exactly what I’m looking for in less than a minute (hopefully).

P1000668

My closet is even organized by like items, jeans are together, my sleeveless shirts, t-shirts, long sleeved shirts, then sweaters. They are in hanging together, color coordinated, starting from white to black. All of my white socks are in one drawer, the colored socks in another. Weird, I know, but that’s me.

People who really know me laugh because they just don’t get it. I just feel better when I know things are where I feel they should be. It also helps me to recognize what I haven’t worn in a while and what I need to weed out.

P1000669 Even my scrapbook cartridges are separated by type and then in alphabetical order.

P1000659 I organized the raised garden on paper before I planted anything. I can’t explain why I felt the need to do this. It just made me feel better because I knew I had a plan.

In reality I organize because, I love the fact that there is something I can control. There is so much in life we have no control over, our health, our family’s behavior, the weather, the list just goes on and on… However, I can control the way my house looks and the way my closets look. Or at least try to control them, I do live with other people, they know my weird ways.  At least I have learned to loosen up over the years, just a little.

Happy organizing ~ Bam

 

 

Posted in Container Gardening

Veggies

Some of the vegetables that I started in the house didn’t survive the transplant to the raised bed, so I ended up planting seeds too. I realized that I just couldn’t keep them in the house any longer so I started watching the extended weather forecast and decided there’s a good chance I’ll be safe of any frost.

The squirrels got into the bed the first night it was up, before I’d planted anything. They were just digging in the empty dirt being nosy. I haven’t seen any holes in the dirt since I’ve planted though, thank goodness.

P1000649

Considering this is my first attempt at growing anything other than perennials, it’s going okay so far. Although when I asked my son to water them the other night he told me “sure but it’s futile”. WHAT!!!  Is he really insulting my efforts to grow good organic food for my family? Yeah, he was (he’s always honest and doesn’t really have much of a filter for other people’s feelings). However, after a few days of watering and sunshine they seem to be perking up.

I know that the green beans are going to get huge, but I have plan to help them vine down to the ground. We’ll have to wait and see if my idea will work.

P1000666My husband and I went today and bought a few things that I didn’t have seeds for, garlic, leeks, cherry tomatoes.

P1000667Rosemary and Strawberries.

I’m still entertaining the idea of Dwarf Blueberries and Raspberries, although I have a neighbor that lost her Raspberries from the hard winter we had.

More to come in the next few weeks. Happy Planting~Bam