"If we ever forget that we're one nation under God, then we will be a nation gone under." - Ronald Reagan

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Resurrection Cookies

*Reposting this recipe to help you and your family get ready for Easter!

Resurrection Cookies

Before you begin, gather together the following:
  • 1 cup pecan halves (not pieces)
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar (but keep the bottle handy)
  • 3 eggs whites
  • salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Plastic baggie
  • Rolling pin or meat tenderizer
  • Mixing bowl
  • Mixer
  • Tape (I use masking tape because it's easiest to remove)
  • Scriptures
You will also need to preheat the oven to 300 degrees and prepare a cookie sheet by lining it with waxed or parchment paper.

Pull the kids in close and open your scriptures.
  • Place the nuts in the plastic baggie, making sure to seal it tight. Either read or have the kids read John 19:1-3. Using the rolling pin or meat tenderizer, have them hit the nuts to break them into pieces to illustrate how Jesus was beaten by the soldiers. Set the nuts aside.
  • Let the kids smell the vinegar in the bottle. Does that smell like it would taste good? As you pour one teaspoon into a large mixing bowl, have someone read John 19:28-29. When Jesus was thirsty, the soldiers gave him vinegar instead of water to drink.
  • Eggs represent life. Add the egg whites as someone reads John 10:10-11. Jesus gave his life for us on the cross. Crucifixion might need to be explained in terms your kids can understand
  • Give each person a sprinkle of salt in their hand and let them taste it. Shake a little into the bowl. Read Luke 23:27. This salt represents the salty tears of Jesus' friends and followers and also the tears we cry over our own sins. Explain that a lament is a great sadness and crying.
  • Take a look at the ingredients in the bowl (vinegar, eggs, salt). It's not a very tasty combination, is it? Now let everyone have a taste of the sugar. ReadJohn 3:16 and Psalm 34:8. Pour the cup of sugar into the bowl. There's a lot more sugar/love in there than any bitterness. Explain that this very sad thing happened because of love for us, from Heavenly Father and Christ.
  • Using the mixer, start beating on high speed. Point out that the mixture is white, the color of purity. Read Isaiah 1:18. Because of Jesus' sacrifice, we are able to be cleansed of our sins. (This is the part where things can get derailed...it takes about 15 minutes to beat the egg whites to stiff peaks and your kids are going to get bored. Talk about Jesus but once their attention is gone, send them to go get ready for bed or have a coloring page for them while you work.)
  • Once you've got the stiff peaks, fold in the nuts. Scoop up some and drop it on the prepared pan. Read Matthew 27:57-60. These mounds represent the rocky tomb where Christ's body was laid to rest.
  • Place the cookies in the oven. Turn the oven off. Read Matthew 27:65-66. Let every have a piece of tape to help seal the tomb. Christ's tomb was sealed and guards were set outside it.
  • But where are the cookies? You might get some sad faces; after all, there was talk of treats. Read John 16:20, 22. Christ's followers despaired when he died on the cross but he had told them there would be reason to be joyful soon enough. You might need to have a back-up treat handy...I usually just let my kids lick the beaters. Be sure to close with a prayer if this is your FHE.
  • This is the end for tonight! The cookies remain in the sealed oven overnight.
  • The next morning, gather everyone at the "sealed tomb." Show them that the tape is still in place. Remove it and them pull out the cookie sheet. Have the cookies changed? Give one to each child and then read Matthew 28:1-9 as they eat the cookies. Just like the rocky tomb, the cookies are hollow and empty. His disciples were just as amazed to find that the tomb was empty. Jesus was no longer there because he had been resurrected.
Happy Easter!

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Tuesdays at the Castle

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share a few “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

Back from a hiatus! Been reading lots of books and attending plenty of book signings. I'm planning a giveaway of signed copies of books on this blog soon. But on to this week's tease!

I originally got Tuesdays at the Castle for my daughter. Since I've really enjoyed Jessica Day George's fairytale retellings (one was teased here), I was sure I would like this one. And I definitely wasn't disappointed…as long as I kept in mind that this book is meant for middle graders.

When Castle Glower gets bored, it might sprout a new tower. Or create a room with a bouncy floor. Or perhaps shrink your room to closet-sized if it doesn't like you. Most importantly, the Castle picks who will be king. And those seeking the throne had best pay attention.

Here's the Teaser:
"She'd been aiming for her room, but instead found herself at the foot of the stairs that led to the tower with the four spyglasses. It was as if the Castle had turned the corridors around to lead her there."
-pg 17, Tuesdays at the Castle by Jessica Day George

What are you reading?

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Because I Care

I am reposting this due to a conversation I had last night with my writing critique group. 
(Originally posted January 7, 2011)


Sorry, my friends! I've been attacked and held hostage by germs. Again. At least they waited until after Christmas. So while I lay on my bed and the kids run rampant (and possibly diaperless), I've been seeing scenes from some of my favorite movies, music, and tv shows from the 80s. Because I love the 80s. Ferris Bueller's Day Off. That one cool video that made me wish I could draw something other than stick figures and puffy horses. And Fawlty Towers.

That show began my appreciation of British humor. It's why I have a limited edition, collector's version of "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." Also, because I'm a dork. So it was only fitting that my hero, John Cleese*, could explain one of my pet peeves in a way that had escaped me all these years. Sure, I knew why what these people were saying was so wrong that it caused my internal editor to gag, choke, and possibly dry heave a little. But it took the perfectly eloquent Mr. Cleese and his Windows 95 clipart charts to explain it.

And since my current template tends to cut off the edges of videos, you might have better luck viewing it here.

* Thanks to the lovely and talented Annette for bringing this nugget of grammar gold to light.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Practically Joking

I like to play pranks on my kids. It makes being a responsible adult all the more fun. Unfortunately, my children have inherited my sense of humor…

One morning, I walked into my room to find that my bed had been made. Awwww, so sweet. It wasn't until later that night as I was getting into bed that I noticed something out of the ordinary. Sitting on my pillow was a rather large black bug. When I lived in Texas, it wasn't all that unusual to find a massive water bug roaming around. They look like fat cockroaches that were raised on steroids and fatty foods. But I hadn't seen any in Utah…until now.

After several moments of staring at it while my heart pounded in my throat, I realized it wasn't moving. Could it be dead? I blew on it, something that always sent them scurrying in the past. Nothing. Then I saw the seams. It was plastic. I was going to murder da Boo. This happened several more times with different bugs…although the bright blue spider didn't fool me for a moment. I couldn't let this go on unanswered. Something had to be done.

Then we went on vacation near a National Park. I plotted my attack and even brought the Man in on my grand plans. It was going to be epic. Since lizards were rampant in the park, I found the perfect realistic lizard. Revenge would be mine. Oh yes, it would be mine.

After the kids were sleeping, I placed the lizard on the arm of the sofa bed. When Boo reached for her glasses in the morning, there was no way she would miss it. I went to bed and waited for the shrieking…

…but nothing happened. The next morning went along like any other day. Maybe she hadn't seen it? No, she pointed it out to her brother that night, showing him the "fake lizard." Shucks.

I've lost my touch.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Music Monday: Home

This isn't exactly a new song, but it's been on my mind for the past several weeks. We've been thinking about moving…actually, we've been thinking about it for three years. But now we actually have an agent and have looked at a couple houses. This song keep going through my head as I think about where we will be this time next year. And how our lives are already so changed.

Hold on, to me as we go
As we roll down this unfamiliar road
And although this wave (wave) is stringing us along
Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

Settle down, it'll all be clear
Don't pay no mind to the demons
They fill you with fear
The trouble it might drag you down
If you get lost, you can always be found

Just know you're not alone
Cause I'm gonna make this place your home

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