One Of Those Days

Have you ever had one? You know, “One Of Those Days” where nothing seems to go right, everything you do or touch seems to mess up?  We had one of those days this week.  A day when I hoped to get so much accomplished, yet it just wasn’t happening. Want to know about our day?

050I was up early to get everything started and yet somehow still ended up behind schedule all day. I didn’t get to town to start my errands until late, and it ended up taking longer to get them finished than I had planned. Our homeschool day was totally disorganized and unproductive. I didn’t get any of my college work completed. Our dishwasher caught on fire. Our air-conditioner messed up and there was water running into our vents. The toilet broke. Chores did not get finished or really even started, so the house remained a wreck from our crazy, busy (but wonderful SHINE) weekend!  And to top it all off the dog jumped on my back and put a couple of bad scratches across it.

Yep, it was Monday all day long!  It was one of those days.

Only, with all that was going on, all that was going wrong, it wasn’t one of those days. I don’t know how to explain it. With everything that could have brought us down, we were all healthy and Happy!

I may have gotten a late start on my day but my kids were with me and they were behaving. I had money in the bank to buy groceries for my family and a safe vehicle to travel in. My husband caught the dishwasher fire before it had a chance to cause any damage and thanks to recent speaking engagements we have a little extra money to be able to afford a new one. My daughter helped me do the dishes and I loved spending that time with her.

The ac may have needed to be off, but for August it was a cool and breezy day so we were able to have the windows open. We were able to play soccer outside as a family with the dog, (I just need be a little more careful).

We didn’t get everything accomplished for school I would have liked but work was finished and more importantly my younger son opened up to me finally about school and we had a great talk.

My oldest son (age 11) is auditing a college bible class. He came home so excited and talking about what he learned about Jesus’ baptism and temptations.

I have an amazing husband who is able to make the repairs we need here at the house when things go wrong.

And before bed, my baby girl said the most beautiful prayer that really showed me how much she is paying attention to everything around her.

So yes, it was one of those days. But you know what, it is day I wouldn’t mind having a few more of! (Well, maybe without so many repairs needed next time!)

“Every day I will bless you
    and praise your name forever and ever.”
Psalm 145:2

Love,

Tiffany

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Preparing My Christmas Splurge

I am so ready for Christmas! I love this time of year as evident by the seven Christmas trees in our home and countless other decorations spread from one end to the other.  This season, though it is so cold outside, has always filled me with warm memories and love!  This year we will be having a large part of our family over for Christmas Eve dinner and I have already started baking! WHAT?  But that is two weeks away!  Exactly!  I need at least that much time for my splurge item to be just perfect!

As many of our family and friends know, in August Nick and I changed our way of eating. We no longer think of it as a diet as we did but have now settled on making it a permanent change!  We have watched our carb intake and it has been a wonderful change for us.  After a rocky first couple of weeks getting over the cravings for all that sugar we have found our happy zone and I am proud to report that together we have lost nearly 60 pounds!  We even survived Thanksgiving!

But Christmas I am already thinking of! Christmas dinner I will be careful but I am preparing myself now for a splurge, for a moment of childhood bliss and memories of my Granny’s kitchen.  I am making her Blackberry Jam cake! I haven’t made one in years so I was nervous. My Granny passed away in 2000 and I miss her so much.  I am thankful for all the things she left for her family that we can come together around and think of all she was in our lives.  This recipe is one of them and I am going to share it!

After searching Jam Cake recipes on the internet I came to realize that there is nothing I have found so far anywhere close to this one. I do not know where she got it (if some one in the family knows please share!) But I do know I love it.  I will warn you, if you are dieting in any form or have sugar problems, beware! I think even reading the recipe will make us gain wait and go into a diabetic coma!  Please bear with the recipe, I copied it down directly from Granny’s card  and just like a grandmother who has made a recipe countless times from memory there are parts that do not make a lot of sense and parts missing, but it still works wonders!

Granny’s Jam Cake

Pre-heat oven to 350.

Cake

3 egg yolks
2 cups Blackberry Jam (jelly will not work, seeds or seedless doesn’t seem to matter but I use the seeded kind)batter
1/2 cup butter

2 cups sugar
4 cups flour, sifted
2 teas. baking soda
2 cups buttermilk
2 teas. cinnamon
2 teas. nutmeg
2 optional teas. spices (not sure what kind of spices she meant here but I usually add a little more cinnamon and nutmeg)
Mix all ingredients with 2 cups of the flour til blended, slowly add in the other 2 cups.  Keep aside 1 1/2 cups of the batter to make the icing and pour the rest evenly into greased round pans.  (I used 2 but would have probably worked better if I had made it three!)  At this point my Granny didn’t write how long to bake but I timed mine and it was around 30 minutes. Depending on the size and number of pans you will have to adjust accordingly.

baking

Icing  (This is what I think makes this recipe so different and wonderfully delicious!!)

1 1/2 cups of prepared dough from above
3/4 cup sweet milk (regular milk)
1 1/2 cups of sugar
1/2 stick of butter (about the size of an egg)

Boil, stirring constantly until thick. Spread between layers and on top of cake.

I tried to time the cooking of the icing and over all it took between 5-10 minutes. You will start to see the change in color as it grows darker and gets more thick.

 

 

cakeThe hardest part about this recipe is the waiting.  Once cooled you must store this in a cool area for about 2-3 weeks (I am going with 2) for it to work its wonderful magic!  That was always difficult growing up.  Everyday sneaking into Granny’s back bedroom where the cake was sitting, so peacefully, waiting for the holidays so we could all enjoy its yumminess!  And now, I will have to suffer again as I stare at the cake carrier, knowing what is waiting!

I hope this recipe brings others as much joy as it has brought to our family over the countless years!!  Merry Christmas to everyone!

 

Love,

Tiffany

 

 

 

Game-board Victories

Wow!!  Homeschooling is tough!  We have been at it since July, and yes it is our first year!  We are still figuring it all out, what works is taking a little longer than what doesn’t!  But there are moments, small as they may be, that reinforce to me that this is working.  It is worth the late, tired nights and early mornings.  It is worth the laundry piled on the sofa or the dirty dishes in the sink.  Moments like today…

windowwriting

Our daily bible study is the most important part of our day.  Today’s lesson just happened to fall in line with what my husband preached for Sunday morning services at Three Forks church of Christ, Luke 24 and the two disciples on the road to Emmaus.  A great story.  After raising the blinds on the dining room window and using my makeshift dry erase board! (My kids think it is so funny when mommy writes on the windows, but it works great… as long as it is light out!)

We had our lesson, read the text, incorporated math into the story for my preschooler, geography for the two cities, days of the week, you name it we worked it in to today’s lesson.  We even role-played the story, my kids love acting!!!  For a treat we played a game!  I wish I could remember where I found this game to give credit to its creator, another wonderful Pinterest find!!  The Walk to Emmaus game.  The kids used their Lego mini-figures as game pieces which of course made it even more fun!

As we played, I quickly noticed a trend that warmed my heart!  There were only certain spaces on the game board path that when landed on resulted in a question being asked.  They were purposely trying to land on those spaces.  My kids wanted to answer the questions and were excited to do so! They wanted to retell the story.   They were laughing and having so much fun. Even my preschooler was sharing the dice bowl!  (Yes to save my sanity and save time we put the die in a plastic bowl so it was easier to keep on the table!)

It is moments like tonight that make it all worth it!  That make me realize we are doing something right, we are making good decisions for our children. When I see them excited about God’s word.  When I hear them randomly singing out blessings to God and hear their sweet prayers, I know we are working toward our true goal!  College graduations will be nice, but a home in Heaven is what matters.  And moments like today show me we are on the right path!!

WalkGame

In Christian Love,

Tiffany

I Will Go With You Daddy

This morning has been a busy one: picking up rocks and picking out weeds.  Yes, a busy hot morning, but a morning spent together as a family.  All five of us out there, working together, as a family, taking care of our home.  Now, granted there were a couple of little boys who would have rather been inside doing anything else at all, but they were there, doing something. Then there was little bit, happily working alongside her daddy!

“This is fun!” I heard her tell him once.  “Fun? Well I don’t know about that,” he replied.  She was so proud of herself as she walked in step with him pulling weeds and taking them away from the flower beds.  Fun?  Not exactly what the adults were thinking. Bending and pulling, moving wagons of rocks, while sweat dripped into our eyes from the heat, nope, not quite our idea of a fun way to spend the morning.  Definitely as far from fun as possible as our sons were concerned.

Fun.  That is how our daughter described it, however.  Even as we finished for the day and she was told she could go on inside and clean up if she wanted, nope, she was having fun.  “I will go with you, daddy,”  she said the the sweetest grin in her little not quite four year old voice. That is what made it fun!  She was working alongside her dad.  Feeling so big and proud as she heard him praise her for her help.  Following in his footsteps it would not have mattered what we were doing this morning, it was fun because she was with him, her father, who she loves! 

Oh that we had that same attitude.  Jesus gave instructions for us to become as little children, for us to be humble as they are humble (Matthew 18: 3-4).  When the apostles tried to send the children away, He called them back, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of heaven.” Matthew 19:14.  And why not. Children love so completely, so innocently, they see the best and have no pride or hatred.  They trust completely.  Oh to follow my Father the way my daughter follows hers!  Such an example. So much joy in just being beside him, no matter the work. 

May I remember this example, may I look to my children for inspiration and remember to love and trust and follow my Lord as a child. To be there so close, just to be in His presence.  No matter the circumstance, having “fun” just because of the One I am with, the One I belong to is the One who loves me beyond all reason.

030Thank you Lord for my children who are always teaching me more than I could ever teach them!!

Tiffany

It’s Been A While

Whew, it has sure been a while since I have posted anything. I can’t believe it but there has just been so much going on that blogging was the last thing on my mind.  But I have new things coming up here soon and I can’t wait to share them!!!  Have a great week everyone!

Tiffany

Giveaway Fun

Everyone loves free stuff and right now I am so happy to be a part of a wonderful giveaway on Facebook! My craft business, Faithfully Fun, has joined up with the nearly 50 vendors giving away wonderful prizes! The host of this great giveaway is Nai’a’s Knits By The Sea!! Check them out, show some love, and enter to win one of the wonderful prizes!!!

GIVEAWAY LINK: http://naiasknitsbythesea.com/mahalo/ Mobile
friendly LINK:  http://bit.ly/TvOSd2

giveaway

Lamp Makeover – Need Advice

Over the summer I did a lot of makeover projects.  I am just now getting around to blogging about most of them. This one however, I am not sure if I am done or if it needs more work.  Let me start by saying when we moved into our last house we were given a pair of lamps that were desperately needed, but on top of that, they matched the color scheme perfectly!

I loved the burgundy.  It matched our curtains, our rug, our artwork. The only thing that didn’t exactly match our tastes were the quail (I think anyway) flying around the lamps, but even that we could handle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

When we were preparing to move into our new house, I wanted to update everything.  The lamps worked wonderfully, and I really wanted to keep them but they were in bad need of repair.  One lampshade was completely broken, unusable. The second one (in the photo) was usable but broken, usable, just don’t touch it! lol

And we were going to try to branch out from the color scheme into something a little different.  In the old house most everything was some shade of burgundy in several rooms.  In the new house I wanted to try something different. When I found out the sellers were leaving the window treatments I was excited. I am not a big fan of the color green, but these were very nice curtains.

A friend told me that I could spray paint the lamps. I thought, “Why not give it a try.”   And so I did.  During my weeks of renovation, I taped up the cords, taped off the light fixture themselves, and began to paint!

End result: LOVE THEM!  They turned out really nice I do believe and they match the living room very well.  Now for my dilemma, I need your help.  The white lampshades are nice, but they are plain. I am trying to decide if I want to place a simple black ribbon around the top and bottom of them just to break it up a bit. Take a look at the “after” picture and let me know your opinion: leave them as “after” or add the ribbon?  What would you do?
(And yes, I even painted the brass!  EEEK!) 🙂