Saturday, June 30, 2012

Celebrating the 4th {Ice Cream}

I hope you've been enjoying our 4th of July Recipe Series!  I know I have!  Welcome back for day four!


Today's menu item is ice cream!  What would the 4th of July be without ice cream???  :)

If there is one thing our family is famous for, it is our passion for big bowls of ice cream!   The kids got it totally honest!  Can you keep a secret?!  If so, I'll show you their Dad's special ice cream bowl!!!  

Yep, now you know that we take ice cream seriously around here!!!  ;)  

So, this should be an easy topic for me, right??


I couldn't seem to zero in on what to share for the ice cream portion of our menu.  In times past, we used to make a delicious churn of homemade vanilla ice cream for special occasions, and I thought about sharing that recipe . . . but we haven't made it in a long time, and I certainly wasn't going to lug the churn out today and make homemade ice cream!  And what is a post about ice cream without any pictures??  (It's about as bad as a post about ice cream without any tastes!)  ;)

Finally, I decided to make something yummy that contained ice cream!  This is what I ended up with:

A peanut butter milkshake!!   

We are also a family that loves our peanut butter -- so this was a stroke of genius!  :)

It is also quick and easy to make -- no ice cream churn necessary!  :)

Here's what you do:

In a blender, combine:

     1 cup whole milk
     2 1/2 to 3 cups vanilla ice cream (I used Publix brand)
     1/2 cup peanut butter (I used Jif Natural)
     2 TBSP sugar (optional) 

Cover and blend for 30 seconds or until smooth.  Stir if necessary, and blend again.  
Pour into chilled glasses; top with whipped cream; garnish with a sprinkle of mini chocolate chips; and drink immediately, if not sooner!  ;) 
(Makes 3-4 servings.)

Yes, it was a fabulous choice!  No red, white or blue -- just cold, creamy goodness in a glass!

Now, go ahead and chill your favorite ice cream bowl, and then come back here and check out the rest of the July 4th Ice Cream Recipes!

Friday, June 29, 2012

TGIF: Ministering Together {Link Up}


Welcome to my link up --

Thank God It's {Family Fun} Friday -- TGIF!!

I want to encourage you to create memories, build family traditions, and have fun with your family!  Because children grow up faster than you think possible . . . 

Many families look forward to having a Family Fun Night on Fridays.  Is this something your family does?  Tell us about it!  What are your favorite Friday night activities?  Do you plan special activities on weekends?  What do you do for Fun with your family??  How do you create memories?  Do you have any special family traditions?  Please share any of the above by leaving a comment or linking up your blog!

Ministering Together as a Family

Ashlyn (24) has been involved in children's ministry for over a decade, literally.  While still a child herself, she was seeking ways to share the gospel with younger children through creative stories, skits, songs, etc. This passion led to her creation of an amazing Children's Character Camp Ministry.  (More about that in a future post!)

Last weekend, Ashlyn was in charge of the children's program for the Summer Conference held at EI Bible School in Greenville, SC.  She invited her siblings to come help her teach the children.  Joe, Chris, Hannah and Luke answered the call and were able to come assist her with the children's program, while Matt and Bethany were able to join the fun as campers!!!

What a blessing to see the children work together in ministry!  Not only did they invest in eternal souls, they strengthened their relationships with one another and had a blast in the process!!  

Check out these captivating pictures which capture them in action --  performing in skits, singing, teaching, playing games, and sharing His love!  (Here's betting you can't look at these without smiling!)    ;)

Your Turn to Share:
Link up to my blog and join the fun!  :)  You can link up any past or present blog post that shares ways to create memories, build family traditions, or have fun as a family!  Just be sure to link back to my blog or add my blog button to your post! 


linked up with:

Beholding Glory


Celebrating the 4th {Creamy Cucumber Dip and Baked Pita Chips}


Welcome back to day three of our 4th of July Recipe Series!  Today's focus is Appetizers.

If you're cooking for a crowd, and if your crowd is also enjoying some fun in the sun, you may find that you have a lot of hungry folks on your hands!  To help you win "the hunger games" why not try my award winning appetizer -- Creamy Cucumber Dip with Baked Pita Chips?!

This is always a hit wherever I serve it!  So, be sure to make plenty!  :)

Now, check out the other appetizers being shared as part of the 4th of July Recipe Series.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Celebrating the 4th {Stuffed Summer Squash}


Welcome back for the second day of our 4th of July Recipe Series!  Today the focus is on vegetables, because we all know that we can't just serve hamburgers!  We need to round out the menu with some delicious sides, and a tantalizing dessert, of course, but stick with us, because desserts are coming up!  ;)

Since summer squash is so prolific this time of year, I'm going to share a recipe that will use up the abundance from your garden (or a friend's garden!).  I was blessed with a nice bag of yellow squash from my parent's garden, which I used to make my featured dish -- Stuffed Summer Squash.

Here are the directions:

1.  Boil 6 small yellow squash in salted water until fork tender.  Drain and let cool.  (Note: I doubled this recipe for my crowd, so don't be alarmed when you see a whole sea of squashies swimming in the water!)  ;)

2.  Cut each squash in half lengthwise.

3.  When cool enough to handle, carefully scoop out insides of each squash with a spoon.

4.  Put scooped out "squashy stuff" in a bowl and add some garlic salt and pepper, about a Tablespoon of butter, 1 egg, 1/4 cup finely chopped onion, 1/2 to 1 cup grated sharp cheddar cheese, and 1/2 cup or more bread crumbs or cracker crumbs.  (Crushed saltine crackers make the best texture, but I didn't have any, so I used some whole wheat bread crusts whirled in the food processor.)  You could also add a dollop of sour cream, if you like.  (All measurements are approximates.)  Mix together well, adding bread crumbs until desired consistency is reached. 

 5.  Spoon mixture into scooped-out squash shells.  Sprinkle tops with bread crumbs or grated cheddar cheese.  (Really, you can never use too much cheese!)  :)

6.  Bake at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes or until squash is hot and the stuffing is set.

7.  Enjoy!

Note:  If you are feeling a bit too lazy or pressed for time to tackle the stuffed squash, you could just make my Fabulous Squash Casserole instead!  

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Celebrating the 4th {Cheese Stuffed Burgers Wrapped in Bacon}


If you're hearing fireworks, it's because today is the Kick Off of the 4th of July Recipe Series sponsored by Savannah of Hammock Tracks.  Appropriately, we are starting off with the star of the show -- the beloved American hamburger!  

I'm going to start with a bang, by sharing a recipe that my husband and I have loved since the early years of our marriage.  Yes, this time-tested recipe is a true family favorite -- Cheese Stuffed Burgers Wrapped in Bacon.  These hearty burgers will be sure to please everyone who gathers around your grill on the fourth!

You will need:
     about 1/2 pound of lean ground beef per person
     1 slice of bacon per person
     1 slice of cheese per person
     Lipton onion soup mix (or homemade alternative)


1.  First mix your onion soup mix into your meat.  You need about 1 packet of the Lipton's onion soup mix per about two pounds of ground beef.  You can also add a sprinkle of Worcestershire sauce, if you like.  Mix together with hands and then form into thin patties.  Strive for about 1/4 pound in each patty.

2.  Lay your hamburger patties on a baking sheet and top with wax paper before stacking.

3.  When all of your patties are ready, lay a small slice of cheese on top of each hamburger patty.  You could use classic American cheese, but that is too processed for me.  I use slices of colby or cheddar, but you could also use cheddar jack, Monterey jack, swiss, meunster -- it would all be delicious!   Now lay a second patty on top of the cheese and use your fingers to seal the edges together, keeping the cheese tucked inside.

4.  Now, wrap a strip of bacon around the outside of each hamburger, securing with a toothpick.

5.  Then grill to desired doneness.  I made these yesterday, and thanks to Tropical Storm Debby, grilling just wasn't going to happen!  So, if it rains on your picnic, don't despair -- these are also good cooked on the stove or in the oven!  After all, resourcefulness is part of the American spirit!  

ENJOY!  :)

linked up with A Wise Woman Builds Her Home, and Women Living Well.      

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Kicking Off a Smorgasbord of July 4th Recipes

I wanted to let y'all know that I'll be participating in a 4th of July Recipe Series hosted by Savannah of Hammock Tracks.  It starts tomorrow and runs through Monday, so be sure and check in everyday for the next six days to see what new recipe I've posted.

Savannah's 4th of July Recipe Series will feature six food bloggers who will share four to six recipes each over the next six days.  It should give you a great selection of delicious recipes for your Independence Day celebration!!!  

Tomorrow we will kick it off with an American favorite, hamburgers.  In the days following we will feature vegetables, appetizers, ice cream, desserts and festive drinks.  I hope you can join us and that you will be inspired by our ideas.


Introducing Lilla Rose and a Giveaway!

I would like to introduce you to Lilla Rose, the creator of unique and beautiful hair accessories since 1992.

I recently became a Lilla Rose Independent Consultant and have been enjoying experimenting with the amazing flexi-clip, which is a unique and attractive hair accessory that allows anyone to create elegant hairstyles with ease.  It works in every hair type, from baby fine and slippery hair to thick, coarse hair.  The key is to order the right size, so before ordering, make sure you watch the Sizing and Styling video on my website.

There are seven different sizes and many attractive styles to choose from. In fact, you may find that you want one of each! The innovative design is what makes the Flexi-Clip unique. The top is made out of music wire, which allows it to bend or flex with your hair. The bottom is a pin that has three notches, which provides flexibility and comfort while holding your hair securely in place.

Here are some of my favorite flexi's --

These are just a few of my favorites -- there are so many pretty ones to choose from! 

Here's another favorite one modeled by the least likely model -- my precious little tomboy, Bethany!  She likes the fact that I can very quickly put her long hair up in a no-fuss style!   I like that her hair is neat and no longer hanging in her face.  It's a win-win situation!  :)

Isn't that pretty?  How would you like to win a flexi-clip of your very own??  Here's your chance!

First of all, go to my website, click on Go Shopping, then click on the appropriate size clip in the blue box on the left.  Then start browsing!  Find your favorite styles and then come back here and leave me a comment telling me which flexi you would choose if you win the Giveaway.  

Then, follow the directions in the Rafflecopter Giveaway below.  It's easy!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, June 25, 2012

Marriage Monday: Loving Our Husbands {Link up|

Marriage Mondays"

For the past few weeks, we have been considering the greatest need of our husbands -- which is to be respected and admired.  We are learning from Ephesians 5:33:
"However, let each man of you [without exception] love his wife as [being in a sense] his very own self; and let the wife see that she respects and reverences her husband [that she notices him, regards him, honors him, prefers him, venerates, and esteems him; and that she defers to him, praises him, and loves and admires him exceedingly]."

I really like the way the Amplified version expands our understanding of what it looks like to respect our husbands.  I have been examining each word in the passage one at a time in order to gain a more in-depth understanding.  Last week we focused on the word "praise."  This week, we are moving on to the word "love."

According to the online dictionary love means:
  • to have a great attachment to and affection for
  • to have passionate desire, longing and feelings for
  • to like or desire something very much
  • to have a strong liking for, to take great pleasure in
  • to need or desire, to benefit greatly from
Wow!  That was insightful!  Now I understand why so many marriages end up in the ditch when couples say they no longer love one another!!

True Love is more than an emotion! It is an act of the will!  It is not about getting, but about giving!!!

It sure makes it easier to love our husbands when we feel great affection, strong like, passionate desire, and great fondness for them!  But, that won't always be the case in any marriage!  There will sometimes be hours, days, weeks, even months when loving one another is a challenge.  It is during those times, when we don't feel especially loving, that our commitment carries us through!

To understand what Love really means, read 1 Corinthians chapter 13.  I encourage you to read the entire chapter, even if you think you know what it says. God's Word is timeless and powerful and will speak to us right where we need it!  We are continually pulled into the world's philosophies of love, and need to have our minds renewed about what true christian love is all about!  For the purposes of this post, I will just share verses 4 through 8:

Love suffers long and is kind;
love does not envy;
love does not parade itself,
is not puffed up; 
does not behave rudely,
does not seek its own,
is not provoked,
thinks no evil; 

does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;
bears all things,
believes all things,
hopes all things,
endures all things.
Love never fails.

That, my friends, is a real definition of the type of love that we are to show our husbands. It is the agape love with which God loves us, and we are commanded to love others, including our husbands!  

We are also commanded to demonstrate phileo love to our husbands.  (See Titus 2:3-4.)  This is a tender affection or kindness that we display towards our husbands by treating them with kindness, compassion, gentleness, and understanding and by cultivating kind thoughts towards them.

However, we must take our love for our husbands to an even deeper level.  The love between a husband and wife must also include eros love.  Debi Pearl, in her landmark (and controversial) book, Created to be His Help Meet, says, "A man's most basic needs are warm sexual love, approval and admiration."  She goes on to say that, "God created a man with a regular need for a woman, and God commanded a man's wife to see to it that his need is met by her."  Barring any true physical conditions or health situations that would make this impossible, this is part of a wife's responsibility as a biblical help meet to her husband!  She must take care to cultivate this type of love for her husband!
Marriage means becoming one flesh.  It does not mean being best friends.  ~ Debi Pearl

Wow!  Loving our husbands is a pretty tall order isn't it??  Obviously, it will require us to go beyond the infatuation and immature love that initiated our relationship and cause us to rely on God's grace to enable us to deny our own selfishness and put our husband's needs, desires, and preferences above our own, not just for a moment, but for a lifetime! 

Your Turn to Share:

How do you actively love your husband??  How have you seen your love grow deeper through the years as you've matured and learned to put your selfishness aside and put one another's needs ahead of your own?   Please share!

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog by copying and pasting the code for my blog button in your post or by simply linking back to my blog.  



linked up with these fabulous blogs:


The Alabaster Jar

Two Shall Become One

Blog Button Final

Growing Home


Beholding Glory

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