Monday, November 30, 2015

Gluten Free Dairy Free Edible Ornaments

Edible Ornaments
Our edible ornaments have improved over the years. :) Click the photo for a past attempt and a recipe. I used shortening this year and made the dough thicker, not as moist. Seems to be working better. We'll see what happens when they dry.

Friday, November 27, 2015


When I was young enough to lie down on a pew on Sunday nights, I would lie on my back, maybe with my head in Mom or Dad's lap, and study this ceiling and the bullet lights and the stained glass while listening to the cadence of Brother Huffman's voice. I felt safe and secure there. I always hoped the bullet lights were secure to the ceiling, especially when I was directly under one of them.

John 10:28-29
and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. "My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father's hand.
 Matthew 5:16 
16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.

 "Behold the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world."

I am secure because of the sacrifice of Jesus The Christ. Being in the sanctuary of the church building of my youth reminds me of that security.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Mercy Me It's Christmas! review and giveaway

 My homeschooler and I have been listening to Mercy Me It's Christmas! in the car and I am ready to put up the Christmas tree and decorations!

When I was a child, I loved the moments in December after dark when my mother would plug in the lights on the Christmas tree and play Christmas albums on the turntable. There was something magical about those moments and my mind still wanders back there when I hear Christmas tunes on the radio.

I love Christmas music. When my husband and I lived in Michigan, I tuned my radio to the station that switched to Christmas music every November 1st. Oh yes! I am not one of those who has the rule that Christmas music must wait until after Thanksgiving.

I have a thing about Christmas music CDs. I prefer CDs that offer me a variety of tempos, a fast song here and there, a slow one here and there, a hymn, a traditional song, a new song, a secular song - I enjoy a good mix. And Mercy Me It's Christmas! delivers all of that. Sometimes I sing along quietly, sometimes I belt it out - I have really had fun with this one. (I am quite a good singer in my car. *wink*)

I really enjoy, "Go Tell It On The Mountain". It's always fun and Mercy Me's version is no exception. However, there is one star for me above all the other songs and carols on this album: Y'all, the arrangement of "O Come, O Come" is my favorite, ever. Not your traditional "O Come, O Come", it makes me have to think of the next line when set to a different tune. It is set to a folk tune that is used with the hymn, "The Gift of Love" that our youth choir sang when I was a teenager.

Pizza Ranch restaurants have a special version of the CD for sale with bonus songs on board. Buy $25 in gift cards and you'll get this CD free.

1. Newborn
2. Christmastime Again
3. Sleigh Ride
4. I'll Be Home For Christmas
5. Hold On Christmas
6. A Holly Jolly Christmas
7. Go Tell It On The Mountain
8. Do You Hear What I Hear
9. Our Lullaby
10. Joy
11. O Come, O Come 
12. God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch)
13. O Holy Night (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch)
14. Silent Night (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch)
15. Joseph's Lullaby (Exclusive Bonus Track for Pizza Ranch) 
 Mercy Me It’s Christmas​ CD will be available in Pizza Ranch locations beginning November 1, 2015 through December 31, 2015.  It has 4 exclusive songs that can only be found on the CD version being sold by Pizza Ranch.  Each CD will be sold for $5 plus tax.  Pizza Ranch will give away the CD with a $25 gift card purchase as well as sell the full album at each of its 200 locations throughout the Midwest and Great Plains states.  "We are so excited to debut our new Christmas album, MercyMe, It’s Christmas, with Pizza Ranch” said Bart Millard with MercyMe. “Pizza Ranch is a fantastic restaurant with a great mission to glorify God. It's the perfect gift to give this Christmas season and the perfect CD to get you in the Christmas spirit.”
I have a copy of Mercy Me It's Christmas to give away on my blog! Just comment to enter.

"Pizza Ranch is a chain of buffet restaurants serving pizza, chicken, salad bar and Cactus Bread in IA, SD, ND, MN, NE, IL, WI, MI, KS, MT, MO, WY, CO."  Pizza Ranch is God honoring in its business. The food on the Pizza Ranch twitter page makes me hungry. Click through and check it out! I have never seen a Pizza Ranch, (there aren't any in my state) so I'll share info about them from the press release:
About Pizza Ranch:
Cultivating its mission "To give every guest a legendary experience" since its inception in 1981, Pizza Ranch connects with its communities in a way that provides bridges for friends, family and colleagues to come together. Today, Pizza Ranch is based in Orange City, Iowa and owns, operates and franchises over 190 locations in 13 states. Consistent growth has been a Pizza Ranch staple, as the brand has become a beacon of community involvement and exceptional food. The Pizza Ranch buffet features legendary pizzas, salads and desserts, and is delivered with an unmatched service quality.  "We are extremely blessed to have a very close connection with our guests," said Adrie Groeneweg, co-founder and president of Pizza Ranch. "This project extends the brand's essence to a new dimension beyond our four walls and into their lives. It's a new kind of way for us to relate to our loyal fans."
I hope you'll enter my giveaway. I think you'll enjoy the CD as much as we are! I'll draw a winner Friday, Dec 5, 2015.

"Disclosure (in accordance with the FTC’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”): Many thanks to Propeller Consulting, LLC for providing this prize for the giveaway. Choice of winners and opinions are 100% my own and NOT influenced by monetary compensation. I did receive a sample of the product in exchange for this review and post.
 Only one entrant per mailing address, per giveaway. If you have won a prize from our sponsor Propeller / FlyBy Promotions in the last 30 days, you are not eligible to win. If you have won the same prize on another blog, you are not eligible to win it again. Winner is subject to eligibility verification.”

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