Saturday, November 29, 2008

salad or dessert?

We call it "Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad" but the recipe is entitled, "Raspberry Refrigerator Dessert" - either way, it is WONDERFUL!

Raspberry Pretzel Jello Salad

1-1/2 c. crushed pretzels
1/2 c. sugar
1/2 c. melted butter
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
1 large carton Cool Whip
1 c. sugar
1 large pkg. raspberry Jello
2 (10 oz.) pkg. frozen raspberries
2 c. hot water

Mix crushed pretzels, 1/2 c. sugar, and butter. Pat into 9x13-inch pan. Bake 6 minutes at 375 degrees. Mix cream cheese, Cool Whip, and 1 c. sugar. Pour over first layer. Dissolve Jello in hot water. Add frozen raspberries. Allow to thicken slightly. Pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate.

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Friday, November 28, 2008

scenes from the monster truck rally

Still haven't had a chance to work through the Thanksgiving Day pics but thought I'd share a few from this afternoon. What a beautiful day in Minnesota. The big holiday craft fair is tomorrow and I spent a big chunk of the day packing. And just when a break was needed, Tilly called with news that the Ultra Flip was on sale at Walmart for only $79... a steal. The hubby used it to create a video of our "Pi Guy" (of course, enhancing it with his own software). The video is below:

Have a great evening!

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Thursday, November 27, 2008

just a short one...

So the whole point of having my nephew sport this adorable hat was to see the adorable hat, but the close-up was too irresistible to pass. I have lots of images to share from our Thanksgiving celebration but tonight, I'm keeping things short and sweet. (The hubby and I have a movie to watch.)

I have been meaning to blog about the supercool Flip digital camcorder and am wondering if it has caught anyone else's eye. (Click HERE to see the huge selection. My personal favorite is the "Ultra" - I'll be saving up my allowance money for a pink one!) Accessories are also available, including an UNDERWATER CASE. Yes, you can use it to create spectacular underwater videos! The reviews are a little mixed on the trustworthiness of the underwater case but I'm willing to take my chances. I think.

Too, for all of you Black Friday shoppers out there... my friend Heather sent me a link for a cool Usborne Books sale taking place through the weekend. Just click on the icon below to get to her site:

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shhhhh! don't tell...

For your Thanksgiving Day viewing pleasure... my hubby is the executive producer, director, writer, special effects supervisor, and the voice of Yoda in this movie clip. The boys are 7-years-old and 4-years-old at the time of taping. It is SOOOOOOO CUUUUUUTE! (Which means they wouldn't be very happy to see it here.)

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

"Help me, Lord, there's another itinerary."

Remember back in June when I shared with you my abduction experience? (Click HERE for details.) The hubby has been off since last Friday and everything was moving along smoothly until today. I returned home from Bible Study to discover an itinerary. You all know how I feel about itineraries and jam-packed days... very much not my favorite things. But being that lunch was part of the deal, I decided to cooperate. Which is a good thing because we ended up at the new KOWALSKI'S MARKET!!!

The Eagan location just opened on November 20th. It makes me so very happy to see another store in our neck of the woods. (The Lakeville store closed last year and grocery shopping just hasn't been the same.)

And oh yes, a picture of the hubby in front of Kowalski's Market. (He stuck the itinerary to his glasses when I wasn't looking.)

I'm going to miss these moments. That is, until next month because he's blocked off a whole nother chunk of time. Joy.

(Oh, how I tease my poor hubby!)

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Monday, November 24, 2008


Finishing up some pics and was hung up on this striking image. Just wanted to share :-)

I attended a special dinner tonight and learned about a great church-wide study that will take place during the season of Lent. The study is based upon the book, "Faith & Doubt" by John Ortberg. (By the way, I keep hearing about THIS BOOK as well... apparently, a must-read.) Heard a great new musical artist as well: Kim Walker. Click HERE to sample her album or watch the video below to see a live performance.

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gingerbread biscotti ROCKS

Gingerbread Biscotti

Makes 2 to 2-1/2 dozen.

1/4 cup butter
3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
2 large eggs
1/4 cup molasses
2-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 teaspoons ground ginger
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup finely minced candied ginger
White chocolate coating for decoration

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a large mixing bowl, beat together butter and sugar until there are no lumps. Beat in the eggs, then blend in the molasses. Add the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, and nutmeg. Blend until smooth. Fold in the almonds and candied ginger. Divide the dough in half onto a lightly greased baking sheet. Spray your hands generously with nonstick spray (dough will be sticky) and form each half into a log about three or four inches wide and one inch high. Place them two inches apart. Bake dough for 35 to 40 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Lower oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

Cool logs for 10 minutes on the sheet, then transfer to a cutting board. With a serrated knife, cut each log into one-half-inch slices. Place the slices cut-side down on baking sheet and return to oven to toast. Remove after 10 minutes and flip all of the cookies over. Toast an additional 10 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool.

Melt coating or white chocolate chips according to package directions. Dip cookies halfway into coating or use a spoon to drizzle quickly back and forth. Let set completely before storing.

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a few more images...

I love this one of my hubby. Here are a couple more from our self-portrait family session:

Now it's time to get back to work!

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take care of holiday shopping online

Creative Memories is offering FREE GIFTS when you place an order of $50 or more through your consultant's website between now and December 4th! Click HERE for details.

In addition, Creative Memories is also offering 25% off select photo center gifts during the same time frame (this includes holiday cards). Click HERE to learn more.

You will find a variety of gift-giving ideas HERE.

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Sunday, November 23, 2008

a sneak peek...

I took the family out today for our own holiday card session! It was pretty tricky being both the photographer and subject but we had a lot of fun. All that was needed was a tripod and my camera clicker (here I am below, messing with the clicker):

Once I've completed the Project 365 challenge, I'll be starting up a 52-week family portrait challenge. The goal will be to take one family self-portrait each week throughout the year. (Woo hoo! Less than 100 days to go!!!!) I would DEFINITELY RECOMMEND participating in a photography challenge; though it can be a pain to take and post images each day, it is a wonderful learning experience.

I'll try to share another image or two tomorrow. Have a great evening!

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

a sign o' the times

We stopped at Target today to pick up a few things, including a gallon of milk. The hubby grabbed it and paid for everything while I was off with the boys in another part of the store. Imagine the UTTER SHOCK when my eyes rested upon this deceptively similar "new convenient size."


Unfortunately, the new 94 oz. size is not very convenient for me; we were already falling short with the former 128 oz. jug. I'm also not very happy with the fact that this *new convenience* is costing me more per ounce.

Like we wouldn't notice.

On the same note of financial frigga-ness, have you heard the recent news about purchasing gift cards this holiday season? Apparently, a lot of retailers are feeling the financial pinch and many are closing stores after January 1st (which might make it more difficult to actually USE those gift cards). After a bit of Googling, it looks like much most of the circulating information is hype (click HERE and HERE to see for yourself).

It looks like the only thing we have to complain about is the milk.

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another random post

The hubby is on vacation so we took a little time to play yesterday. There is so much going on for me in the next couple of weeks, it's going to take A LOT of discipline to stay focused. It doesn't help when you have a family like this:

Gotta love 'em. I had a crop last night and was able to spend a little time with Mellissa. There were a couple of other cropping ladies there as well. Good conversation, a little egg nog chai latte, and holiday music (WHAT???! Yes, 102.9 Lite FM is now playing holiday music.) It felt a bit like we were warming up for our scrapbooking retreat that is rounding the bend.

One of the ladies shared some sad news about a customer (her best friend) I'd met several years ago, a woman who'd attended a few of our crops in SSP. She'd been diagnosed with a debilitating disease several months ago and recently passed away. As much as the news pained me, it was beautiful to hear about the many albums that family and friends had the privilege of viewing at her Celebration of Life service. It brought tears to my eyes to hear that the family had also given her best friend the option of choosing something to keep in remembrance of this dear woman. Of all things, she chose an album her friend had created after one of their special weekends together.

Simply beautiful.

The children are calling for eggs, a promise I'd made to them earlier this week. Enjoy the rest of your weekend :-)

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Friday, November 21, 2008

just had to eek out one more

Click HERE to see it enlarged.

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words of encouragement

The Lord will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways. Psalm 91:11

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you would abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble. Psalm 34:8

Whoever listens to [wisdom] will live in safety and be at ease, without fear of harm. Proverbs 1:33

"Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Walk in all the ways I command you, that it may go well with you," says the Lord. Jeremiah 7:23

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

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Thursday, November 20, 2008

trying to capture a hug

The last time I did this, he was almost a head smaller! (Click HERE to see.) My little one is growing.

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had i not trusted God's lead...

I wouldn't have become a CM Consultant. I wouldn't have taken on a HUGE craft fair in a city that was not my own. I wouldn't have met Bobbie, working the same craft fair. I wouldn't have been invited to Bobbie's home. I wouldn't have met Bobbie's neighbors. I wouldn't have met Heather.

I love how God brings the most beautiful people into my life.

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the power of absolute surrender

magnificent sunset

sur·ren·der (sə-rěn'dər)

The act of surrendering; the act of yielding, or resigning one's person, or the possession of something, into the power of another.
When becoming a Christian, we acknowledge our failings and need for a Savior. We recognize God's perfect gift in His Son and invite the Holy Spirit into our lives. In essence, we surrender ourselves to His perfect plan and will for our lives.

But many of us struggle with the surrender part. I know for myself, His plan seemed obvious. I assumed God would want what I wanted because it was a good plan. The problem was that instead of seeking God and yielding my life before Him, I expected the Lord to come alongside my plan to make it happen. I beat myself up for many years wondering, "Why, God, why?" while He waiting patiently for me to ask, "What, God, what?"

And what a difference that has made.

I heard a portion of a great sermon series on this very topic and thought I'd share it here. The series is entitled, "The Power of Absolute Surrender" by Dr. James MacDonald. You can click HERE to access the full series. (I'd picked up only Tuesday's message but plan to listen to the entire series myself.) I hope it touches you as it did me!

"If anyone serves Me, let him follow Me; and where I am, there My servant will be also. If anyone serves Me, him My Father will honor." John 12:26

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

this post is all over the place

Went shopping today and found these cute slippers on clearance. (Sadly, my old pair are beyond repair.)

Okay, can you believe Thanksgiving is NEXT WEEK? Where or where has the month gone?! If you're looking for a fun way to burn off that pumpkin pie, stop by the Rosemount Community Center on Saturday, November 29th from 9:30 am-4:00 pm for a great holiday craft fair. (It's an annual thing with a ton of vendors from all over the state.)

Oh... and there is a great new 3-D movie coming out. Here's a preview:

It's called, "Bolt"; you can learn more about it by clicking HERE.

BTW, my mom and dad are celebrating 41 years of marriage today! (See, I told you... all over the place.)

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am i headed in the right direction?

This is a great question and one I find myself asking a lot. I'm not sure if anyone else has noticed, but when it comes to matters of faith "anything goes" seems to be a prevailing theme in our world:

  • "Who are you to tell me that something is right or wrong? That's for me to decide."
  • "God would never be so cruel as to send only a few to Heaven."
  • "Your body, your mind, and your 'soul' are all just energy and when you die the energy is dispersed. I believe that with enough desire you can keep that energy together as one entity and continue to 'live.'"
  • "You die and your body decomposes in the ground. No afterlife, no heaven or hell, nothing."
  • "I believe we reincarnate. Maybe not immediately, but eventually - to grow and learn."
  • "Heaven is whatever you believe it to be when you die."
Truth be told, I expressed similar sentiments not that long ago. But as I began reading and learning more about the Bible I had trouble reconciling my thoughts and feelings with verses like these:

Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Matthew 7:13-14

Not everyone who says to me, "Lord, Lord," will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, "Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?" Then I will tell them plainly, "I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!" Matthew 7:21-23

Then Jesus went through the towns and villages, teaching as he made his way to Jerusalem. Someone asked him, "Lord, are only a few people going to be saved?" He said to them, "Make every effort to enter through the narrow door, because many, I tell you, will try to enter and will not be able to. Once the owner of the house gets up and closes the door, you will stand outside knocking and pleading, 'Sir, open the door for us.' But he will answer, 'I don't know you or where you come from.' Then you will say, 'We ate and drank with you, and you taught in our streets.' But he will reply, 'I don't know you or where you come from. Away from me, all you evildoers!' There will be weeping there, and gnashing of teeth, when you see Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the prophets in the kingdom of God, but yourselves thrown out. People will come from east and west and north and south, and will take their places at the feast in the kingdom of God. Indeed, there are those who are last who will be first, and first who will be last." Luke 13:22-30

Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. John 14:6

Jesus replied, “I have already told you, and you don’t believe me. The proof is the work I do in my Father’s name. But you don’t believe me because you are not my sheep. My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand. The Father and I are one.” John 10:25-30

But there were also lying prophets among the people then, just as there will be lying religious teachers among you. They'll smuggle in destructive divisions, pitting you against each other—biting the hand of the One who gave them a chance to have their lives back! They've put themselves on a fast downhill slide to destruction, but not before they recruit a crowd of mixed-up followers who can't tell right from wrong. They give the way of truth a bad name. They're only out for themselves. They'll say anything, anything, that sounds good to exploit you. They won't, of course, get by with it. They'll come to a bad end, for God has never just stood by and let that kind of thing go on. 2 Peter 2:1-3
The Bible makes it clear that Jesus is the One and only way to God. His Word also makes it clear that simply knowing who Jesus is does not grant us heavenly privileges. We must know Him, we must know His Word. Jesus says that many will come using His name to deceive many (Matthew 24:5). The Bible also talks about Satan and his servants disguising themselves as servants of righteousness (2 Corinthians 11:12-15). If I can't trust how something looks or feels, how do I know that I'm headed in the right direction?

God's Word.

It seems only wise to never take for granted I am headed in the right direction (I've landed in the ditch far too many times for that lesson not to stick). Instead of relying my subjective feelings, thoughts, and ideas - I look to God's Word for His input on the matter.

Ponder the path of your feet; then all your ways will be sure. Proverbs 4:26

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Monday, November 17, 2008

and the winner is...

Amy said...

I would absolutely FREAK OUT if I got this! I have been wanting to try it since Sept when I heard about the digital recipe kit! Although the tactile part of true scrapbooking is a huge part of why I like to scrap, I think digital is the way to go for lots of other things-mostly to avoid having to get out and put away all those supplies, but this looks like such a time saver. From your demo at one of the FBing crops, it seems very user friendly yet still creative. (Have I gushed enough?!?!)
It's time to freak out, girl.

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Sunday, November 16, 2008

a sneak peek...

Have I mentioned I've been a little tied up? Sorry for my quiet bloggy presence. I have a speaking engagement to prepare for, a few orders to process, a craft fair around the corner, and a retreat... whew, it makes me tired just writing about it! Not to make excuses or anything because I SO MISS MY BLOGGY TIME WITH ALL OF YOU. But first things first... a few photos to share from a session that took place this afternoon:

The ladies were great sports about my posing antics, even knowing I'd be chopping off some heads! Three generations - grandmother, mother, and daughter, simply beautiful.

I have a few meaty posts in limbo and hope to find some quality blogging time to complete them this week. Remember, the prize drawing ends tomorrow!

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