Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thursday ~ I live. I love. I like...

Celtic and folk music.

A mother who prays for me constantly.

Firetrucks, ambulances, and police cars.

Thinking ahead on Christmas presents. I love Christmas shopping. 

Planning a camping trip with my family after a few years of having to go without the euphoric smell of tent walls, camp fire, and fresh, unpolluted air.

A one year old nephie who can count to ten.

My gold Mazda Protege. Together, we go places.

Curling up in a corner of the couch snuggled in a comfy blanket to read a favorite book for at least the third time.

My walk-in closet that also doubles as a quiet hide-away to read and pray.

Target's $4.99 Fall necklace selection.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Tuesday ~ Starbucks Tuesday

Today is a good day! I have Fred Astaire softly crooning to me in the background of my office, and my Starbucks Tuesday beverage to keep my company. Today is...

Grande Strawberries & Cream Frappuccino. Heavy on the cream, light on the...well, lightness. :)

But some things can be oh-so-worth it.

Tuesday ~ My doubts, Pt. 2 : When God Let Me Down

 Psalms 18

The cords of death encompassed me;
    the torrents of destruction assailed me;
the cords of Sheol entangled me;
    the snares of death confronted me.

In my distress I called upon the Lord;
    to my God I cried for help.
From his temple he heard my voice,
    and my cry to him reached his ears.

Then the earth reeled and rocked;
    the foundations also of the mountains trembled
    and quaked, because he was angry.
Smoke went up from his nostrils,
    and devouring fire from his mouth;
    glowing coals flamed forth from him.
He bowed the heavens and came down;
     thick darkness was under his feet.
 He rode on a cherub and flew;
    he came swiftly on the wings of the wind.
He made darkness his covering, his canopy around him,
    thick clouds dark with water.
Out of the brightness before him
     hailstones and coals of fire broke through his clouds.

The Lord also thundered in the heavens,
    and the Most High uttered his voice,
    hailstones and coals of fire.
And he sent out his arrows and scattered them;
    he flashed forth lightnings and routed them.
Then the channels of the sea were seen,
    and the foundations of the world were laid bare
at your rebuke, O Lord,
    at the blast of the breath of your nostrils.

I don’t know how I never noticed it before, but consistently throughout the Bible when the Lord comes to the aid of His people, He comes surrounded by bad stuff. The children of Israel were just as flesh and blood as you or I; they couldn’t see what tomorrow held. All they could see was blood, locust, and frogs. They didn’t know that a few days more, and they’d be marching out of Egypt “prepared for battle.”  Three months later, God came to them on the Mountain of Sinai, but He didn’t come with angels singing and flashes of bright light. The mountain was a blazing inferno, smoke blackening the sky, thunder and lighting crashing all around. It must have been terrifying. They didn’t get to see God up in the mountain. In Psalms 18, King David cries out for God’s deliverance. Notice how the Lord comes to His rescue? An earthquake. Smoke and devouring fire. Darkness. Thick, impenetrable black clouds. Hailstones and burning coals falling from the sky. In a word: catastrophe. Imagine yourself surrounded by such chaos. Imagine the fear you would feel.

Imagine how you’d question God. “I asked for your help! Now things are just worse!” None of these Old Testament examples could see beyond the moment they lived in, just like us. But we know what happened. The children of Israel did march out of Egypt free as a flock of birds. The Lord did come to Moses on Mt. Sinai and He gave them all the 10 Commandments. And King David? “He sent from on high, he took me; he drew me out of many waters. He rescued me from my strong enemy and from those who hated me, for they were too mighty for me” – the verse just following the ones above.

As AW Tozer says, “It gets darkest just before it gets light.” I don’t know why the Lord chooses darkness as His chariot, but I do know that “darkness is as light with God.” Darkness isn’t an obstruction to God; He sees through it just as clearly as He sees through light.

God rides the darkness like Mary Poppins rides the chimney smoke of London. When you feel like God’s not hearing you, remember that the children of Israel only saw a worsened condition, too, only that very worsened condition was their deliverance. The darkness and fire on Mt. Sinai was the arriving presence of God. The earthquake and thunder around King David was the Lord coming to save Him from his enemy.

When the person you love and pray for takes another step into sin…it might be the Lord’s means of deliverance.

When you pray for answers, but only get more questions and darkness seems to choke you…it might be the darkness that the Lord comes in on.

When you’re the only one left standing (or single), and you don’t know how you can do it any longer…when it’s worse, it might be the rumble of God’s approach

As I’ve been learning this over the past few weeks, it’s given me hope. It’s unlocked areas of my doubts, aiding me in seeing where our Invisible God is in the midst of bad stuff around us. It gives me the “oomph” to still rejoice when yet another burden seems added to my shoulder. This could be the deliverance. It helps me to stay in faith as I myself pray for the prodigals in my life. It helps me see where God might have been when I myself was the prodigal child.

Now, when I see people bowing down under the weight of adversity or despair over a wandering loved one, I want to say “Remember Psalms 18!” With so much sadness, despair, sin and heart-breakings around us, Psalms 18 is a chapter to cling to and refuse to let go.

We all have things in our lives right now where the circumstance looks bleak. We need to hear from God. We need Him to move. But we've prayed, yet nothing changes. Or the trouble is multiplied.

When nothing happens in response to prayer or things just get worse, it means He’s coming. Through this realization and understanding of how God works, I am learning slowly to see that maybe God didn't let me down after all. When He didn't seem to come to my rescue, but all my depression and internal darkness got worse, it was in that darkness that the Lord refined me. The Lord was the Refining Fire. I didn't see my Champion God come in and take away all my trouble, but I now can see that He did major works in me, pivotal, altering, life-changing works, that have made me a whole new creation. He came to my aid, but He came as the Refiner. He did come to my aid, but it was surrounded by a darkness so thick I couldn't see Him. Just like the children of Israel couldn't see God on Mt. Sinai. Yet He had arrived for my help. Maybe I can trust Him all the way after all. Building trust in someone takes a long time. Even in God. I'm so thankful He doesn't condemn me, but rather is helping me to see where He's been in my darkest moment. He's helping me to build up my trust in Him. He's good like that.

Does this mean I'll never doubt God again? No. Everybody doubts, everybody questions, everybody struggles with their faith. It's what motivates us to search and prod for answers. But each little truth, like this one, helps us pull ourselves up by God's bootstrap and keeping trusting.

P.S. And open up your itunes and buy "Better Than I" by John Bucchino & David Campbell. For real.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Monday ~ My doubts: the Grand Reveal

I stand on the top of a silent mountain. I have been lost in this wilderness for days and weeks, wandering, trying to find my way out. No towns. No roads. No sign-posts to help me find my way. No map that makes sense.  Exhausted. Thirsty. Starving. Desperate. I stand on the top of this mountain, close to the sky.  And I cry out in a broken voice for help. I stretch out my hands, up, up, up. I fall to my knees as my strength fails me. My screams for deliverance reverberate against the mountain walls around me. Echoing my desperation. Suddenly, the sky goes black around me. I am plunged into darkness, multiplying my disorientation. I’m no longer just lost. I now can’t see.  So much for praying.

You’ve been praying for her for months. Ever since she took that first step away from God. You’ve prayed for her as she moved out. Prayed as she started dressing less and less. Prayed as she started drinking. Prayed as you saw her party lifestyle on Facebook. Prayed as you knew she began sleeping around. You’re heart breaks. You keep praying. But time goes by and nothing ever gets better. God doesn’t seem to do anything. So much for praying.

She was broken. Body, soul, spirit, heart. Especially heart. Ever since the day he said “I’m sorry” and walked away. Everything hurt. She couldn’t breathe anymore. She prayed for grace. Strength. Hope. But then he started being mean, acting like she’d never existed at all. Things got worse. Life only got harder to bear. So much for God’s help. So much for praying. 

Thing can't get worse. It's been a domino effect, one hard situation after another. You're at the end of your strength. Can't take anymore. Tears can't fix anything, but in your helplessness, the tears come out of shear desperation. You begin to pray for help. But then the phone rings with the news of yet another catastrophe. And your find out how you were wrong. Things could get worse. Because they did. So much for praying.

I hesitate to write, because my thoughts and observations seem as yet incomplete. But learning the whole picture takes a lifetime, so I’d better write. The four scenarios above are ones we’ve probably all faced to some extent. Maybe we’ve not been lost on a wilderness mountain, but we’ve all struggled with really hard situations where we didn’t know what to do…but it seemed like God didn’t help us out like we needed; in fact, the situation just got worse. Most of us know people who’ve walked away from God and are still walking in sin, even though we’ve prayed and wept over them. It begins to look like God’s just going to leave them there. We’ve all had a broken heart, whether or not it was through a broken relationship. The heart breaks over many things. We've all faced times when everything went wrong and you didn't think you could cope any longer. We’ve all cried out for God’s help and deliverance…but answers didn’t seem to come and things only got worse.

God lets us down. That’s the way it looks to us, the only explanation that seems to make sense. I know this from experience, and it was a time-frame of several years when God literally seemed completely absent from my life. I prayed for His help. Some things didn’t change at all. Some things got worse. Nothing got better. I’ll be honest and tell you that even to this day, I have niggling doubts in the back of my mind about God. He said He’d never leave or forsake…so where was He? He said He’d give grace to those who ask…why did I feel like I had to battle it all alone? He says that whatever we ask in His name, He answers…how come the person I prayed for never changed?  How come on those hundreds of times I was literally on my face begging God to take away my despair and depression, to help me to see life as full of hope again…that not a cloud of darkness moved, remaining heavy and oppressive?  I’ll tell you straight. To my eyes, God let me down.

Over time (months and years), things eventually ironed themselves out. Time does heal most things. But I still feel/felt like God couldn’t be trusted to help me when I needed Him. His promises of constancy seemed like pie-crust promises.

This all sounds pretty sacrilegious. Kinda shocking, really. Is Kellie really saying God let her down? Is Kellie really saying she doesn’t trust in God anymore? Yes. That’s what I’m saying. But I’m not saying that I’m right. In fact, I’m learning how wrong I am.

{to be continued}

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Thursday ~ I live. I love. I like...

Quiet evening talks with my 20 year old brother out on the back porch swing, while watching the sunset.

Planning parties.

Singing loud in front of the bathroom mirror because the acoustics are so awesome with the door closed.

The magic of L.M. Montgomery books.

Learning to really trust God.

Quoting the Adventures of Tin Tin.

Dreaming of a someday trip to Europe. Spain, Italy, France, England, Scotland...hmmm.

Telling stories to little nieces.

A full tank of gas.

"Better Than I" by John Bucchino & David Campbell. On repeat.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Wednesday ~ Adventures in Italian Sodas

My new favorite kick is Italian Sodas. They are so tasty, so easy to make, and so classy to serve to your friends when they come over. "Can I get you an Italian soda?" Yes, it's dripping with ritz.

My Torani flavors right now consist of Peach, French Vanilla and Caramel. Needless to say, my soda options are very limited. I serve Peach. And Peach Vanilla. I tried Peach Caramel...but unceremoniously poured it down the sink. :)
 To make them: you'll need a bottle of club soda, and a goblet filled with ice. You don't have to use a goblet, but trust me, it makes the presentation and the experience that much more thrilling. And life's short - drink out of goblets. :)

 Pour your club soda into your goblet over the ice.

 Add your flavor. I add about 3.5 TBS (or if you have the pump feature on your bottle, that's still about 3 1/2 pumps). So for my delicious Peach Vanilla soda (tastes like a peachy cream soda!), I do about 2.5 TBS of peach, 1 TBS of vanilla. Stir it up. And there you have your very own Italian Soda.

For optimal enjoyment, go sit on the nearest porch swing that faces west and quietly watch the sun set, while calmly sipping on a frosty class of Italian soda. Or at least until a wasp crawls up your pants and starts stinging, in which undignified pandemonium ensues. Okay. You can stop laughing now. :)

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Tuesday ~ Starbucks Tuesday

Aaaaaaand it's another beautiful Starbucks Tuesday, and I probably could have skipped out on posting today's beverage because it's the same one from last week: the Green Tea Frappuccino! Two weeks in a row? Yes, it's that good. There's just something soothing about it, it has such an "unobtrusive" taste.

Have a frabjous day!!

Monday, August 20, 2012

Monday ~ August Birthday #2 (Little G)

Three cheers for auntie-ship!! It's my life's calling. Really. It is. :) And I yesterday was the 2nd birthday of Little G, my third-born niece, which called for an all-hands-on-deck celebration. Laughter. Talking. Playing in the dollhouse. Ice cream. Cheesecake. Sitting on the front steps in the summer gloaming. Yes, one of those together-ness-es that make family what it is.

 This is Little E, the newest member of our family. Already a little chunker. :)

 "Come on, do big smiles!" 

And  Little G, the big birthday girl. She's such a sweet cuddly little girl. My life wouldn't be complete without her and "Pink," her special blankie. I love you, Little G!

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Saturday ~ Mom's Pinterest-y Birthday

My mom's birthday was actually last week, but due to conflicting schedules and circumstances, we are celebrating it tonight. See the brown paper packages tied up with string? This is my all-time favorite way of wrapping gifts. It's so...magical, somehow. Or maybe I just love Sound of Music. ;) Either way, I love the paper-string look, but this time, thanks to something I saw on the fountain of all creativity (ie. Pinterest), I added buttons to them. Makes them even cuter, doncha thing? I do. :)

I was so tickled by the outcome of my packages that I wanted to "show-case" them here on the blog, but when I ran to grab the camera, Mom had taken it somewhere with her. So, it's phone pictures again. :)

Inspired by my awesome friend Brea, who first tutorial-ed on how to make a "Book of Notes," I decided to make one for my mom. It's a hand-made little book, with a page for each family member to write a note of appreciation for my mom. It took a little while and I had to call on my way-more-craftier-than-me younger sister for design inspiration, but here's the end results and I'm very pleased with it. And I know my mom will be, too. My mom is the most amazing woman I know, who has set an example for us children all her life. She is my role model, my confidant, my best friend, my prayer warrior and prayer partner. I hope to be just like her someday.

Happy birthday, Mom! I love you. :)

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Thursday ~ I live. I love. I like...

New furniture arrangements in the living room that give it a whole new revamp.

Polka-dot head squarves and pink lipstick.

The $5 movie bin at Wal-Mart. :)

A good talk with a good friend about good things happening.

How the Lord gives strength for even things like getting out of bed early to go on a run when burrowing deeper under the quilts is all you really want to do.

Peach & Vanilla homemade italian sodas.  

Listening to books-on-tape during the copious amounts of time driving.

A new book by a favorite author.

Changes of the heart and peace that doesn't make sense.

Firetrucks. All day long. :)

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday ~ Good Single (=) Good Married

Yesterday, I read the blog of a young woman who had just gotten engaged. I don’t know this gal, but I’ve read her blog enough the past year to know that getting married was her main goal in life. That’s peachy – it’s sorta one of my goals, too. :) She talked long and eloquently on how perfectly God had written her love story, how the Lord has been SO good to her in her engagement, how through the Lord’s perfect plan all her dreams had come true in ways she could never have imagined possible. The predominant theme was “look how good God has been to me” – in the happy wake of her engagement.

This isn’t the first “I’m engaged, God is so good” thing that I’ve read. I’ve heard a lot of posts, articles, books, blogs, and conversations that praise God in rapt adoration for His goodness in bringing them their spouse. And it’s true! God IS so good in writing perfect love stories for us His daughters. He DOES deserve all the praise and glory, because He’s the one who brings two people together! Amen and amen!

But what about me? I’m single. I have single friends. Is God not being just as good to us, just because we are single? Is God not writing a perfect story for me right now in my today, just because I don’t have a ring on my finger?  I sometimes think He’s not. But truth says…God’s goodness never changes. He’s the same yesterday, today and forever…which means He has no varying degree of goodness. When we single girls get engaged someday, God’s goodness doesn’t increase (it can’t!), only our outer circumstance changes. There's no greater-than-less-than with God.

I don't want to be guilty of seeing the goodness of God only when I see my dreams coming true. I don't want to be guilty of holding out on my praise-giving because I’m single. I don't want to be guilty of viewing my singleness as a “pre-God’s goodness” ordeal. I don’t want to be the girl who prays and pines for marriage, continually questioning God's goodness and plan, and then when/if marriage comes, praise flows like an eloquent sonnet.

And so….

I just want to say that God is so good to me today! He is so good to allow me the opportunity of working a job in the work arena, rubbing shoulders with all kinds of people. He’s so good to give me the chance of having my very own paycheck! I do marvel at where my life is today – living at home, meeting friends for dinner tonight, sharing a door-less room with my two sisters, roasting marshmallows in the fire out back with my youngest brother, being able to hob-nob with my nieces and nephews any day of the week without limits, being there to watch as my 20 year old brother brings his new car home, being a part of my younger siblings’ every-day life. I have a Goodness all my own today.

- God is so good to me today: even though I ate a bowl of cantelope on-the-go with a toothpick as I drove in my car to work…instead of fixing breakfast in my comfy pj’s for a husband who’s doing the off-to-working. Both are 100% God’s goodness. I have all of His Goodness today.

- God is so good to me today: because I pay my own bills out of my own paycheck…instead of leaving that all to a husband to take care of. Both are 100% God’s goodness. I have all of His Goodness today.

- God is so good to me today: because I sit in a tiny, airless office for 8 hours…instead of running a house like a Suzy-homemaker. Both are 100% God’s goodness. I have all of His Goodness today.

I’m praising God at the top of my lungs today for His never-changing, ever-constant, always-with-me, unwavering, immeasurable, gotta-have-it goodness! 

And let’s put that on the record! =)

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Tuesday ~ Starbucks Tuesday

Happy Starbucks Tuesday! Believe it or not, I almost drove right past the Starbucks exit this morning, but at the last minute, decided to go ahead and get my weekly beverage. You can't, after all, have Starbucks Tuesday without the Starbucks, can't you? I could have taken a picture of my bowl of cantelope, but somehow that didn't seem to quite cut it. Cantelope Tuesday? I think not.

Today was a tall Green Tea Frappuccino kind of day. Have you ever tried the Green Tea Frappuccino? If you haven't, I recommend it. It was a favorite of mine a few years back, but it had somehow fallen through the cracks of my favorite's list. It's now being bumped back up near the top.

The livid green color of the drink can be a turn off, since after all, green is the color of grass and veggies and other sorts of organicy healthy types of things that aren't usually near the top of anybody's treat list. And whereas it does have a kind of "earthy" taste, it's a very sweet and tasty kind of earthy taste! If you've yet to try the Green Tea Frappuccino, do it. I dare you.  You'll look awesome. :)

Monday, August 13, 2012

Monday #2 ~ Sunday's Walk

Last night my two sisters and I went on a walk together. Actually, our youngest brother also came along, but as he was either way ahead of us, way behind us, off in the orchards, or playing dead on the road in front of us, our time mainly consisted of just us three sisters. It was a beautiful, albeit warm, evening stroll.

 My two beautiful sisters.

Two red-heads and a brownie.

We love being together. The fact that there is 12 years difference spread out between us really doesn't make an iota of difference. I consider them my best friends. We do life together. When you share the same room, the same closet, the same clothes, the same mirror, the same straightening iron, the same hair accessories, and the same last kinda have to. :) It just makes it better when you love each other every minute while doing it. We are the Sisters Three! 

Monday ~ Running

The sun is just rising when I get out of bed to go on my 6:15am run. I throw on my shorts, t-shirt, and running shoes, grab my phone and ipod and head out the door. I run alongside of an almond orchard, behind which is where the sun in slowly rising. This morning as I was out for my run, I happened to actually look over and up through the trees, and I think maybe I gasped out loud. I'm a sunset kinda gal, but I'll say this: it's the sunrise that beats the sunset for it's golden rays. I know I've seen sun-rays before, but for some reason, this morning it was especially beautiful. You can only just barely see them in this inadequate phone glimpse. It was marvelously perfect.

Maybe it was extra beautiful because I'm learning to see Jesus differently. More approachable. More clearly. More perfectly able. More and more the God I want to give all my life to. I appreciate so much Emily Freeman's book "Grace for the Good Girl," which, as you know, I've been reading. One concept in particular has been extremely difficult to grasp, but I believe it's been at the base of alot of my spiritual struggles. I'll let you just read my journal entry from last night:

"Our spiritual disciplines, such as reading and memorizing the Word, prayer and talking to God, do not draw us any closer to the throne of God. Rather, it unblinds our eyes to show us we are already there. As Christians, we already rest in the very closest place at Jesus's feet, our position won for us on the Cross. If we had to have quiet times or do spiritual things to come into closer proximity to God, then His death on the Cross wasn't enough to grant us His full presence. Therefore, NOTHING we do propels us any closer to God. It only opens our eyes to see His already-there nearness more and more."

After really grappling with the idea of me having continual favor with God (even when I sin) and still feeling that I must do something to be granted a closer fellowship with Christ, I've finally been able to slowly relinquish my part, my job, my doings. And those spiritual disciplines that we do, such as reading, memorizing, meditating, worshiping, praying, etc, are not my ticket to a closer position at His feet, but the means of the scales being lifted off of my eyes, allowing me to see Christ's nearness, and in that way, know Him and be known by Him more and more. It's really changing everything about me.

By the way, I promise this blog is not going to become the "pictures I took on my phone" blog. But the way I see it, if it captures the moment, even if it's poor quality, it's a good picture. :)

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Thursday ~ I live. I love. I like...

Thirteen year old brothers who want to get up at 6:15am to go running with you.

Home-made enchiladas that make great freezer lunches.

 A new office paper shredder.

Hunting for the perfect cemetery. But not for burial purposes. ;)

Fresh cantelope.

Finding out about unexpected vacations.

Fairy-tales and superheros.

A younger sister who is 1/4 way through memorizing the book of Matthew, including the genealogies! Here's lookin' at you, kid.

Finding the perfect bridesmaid dress.

How one sister's clothes shopping trip means more options for all sisters. =)

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Tuesday ~ Starbucks Tuesday

So, this beautiful Starbucks Tuesday finds me, sadly, eliminating dairy products from my diet. That meant that last night when they made the rest of the trial batch of mocha punch that is truly the stuff dreams are made off, yours truly merely stood by and smelled it in all it's glory. Perhaps prior to the famed baby shower, I will make it again (with lactose pills handy **Thanks, Brea!**) and give a little how-to, yes? No promises.

I woke this morning at 6:00am. No, actually, I woke up at 5:59am. My inner clock is so strange - it predictably wakes me up one minute prior to my alarm going off. Don't ask me why. So, alarm goes off at 6:00am. I actually roll out of bed at about 6:15, change into my running cloths, and hit the trails for a quick run. Ah, Kellie, Kellie...remember my post last week about the mask I wear? Well, with that last sentence about me going running, I could leave it at that and let it be implied that I run every morning. tell you the mask-less truth, this was only my second morning to run. "Running" might even be a little exaggeration. I should perhaps say "I went lumbering down the road" or "I went flopping down the road." Either way, I'm stiff and sore enough to win the part of the Tin Man, but also energized and motivated to take on this day!

 I'm usually a morning person to begin with, but today I especially am! See it? I was even pumped up driving to work! Hey - I wasn't talking or texting while driving! I just haven't heard anything about not taking pictures while driving...

 Starbucks drive-thru! I almost asked the guy at the drive-thru window to take a picture with me for my morning's chronicle, but chickened out just in time.

Ok, forget the Passion teas altogether, and maybe even my usually-loved green tea lemonade! Because today I tried Starbuck's new "Refreshers," and boy-o-boy, if I hadn't already been wide-awake, I sure would have been after my first sip, because my taste-buds jumped up and started to sing the National Anthem right then and there! They gave me a sample of the Berry which instantly sold me on the Refreshers, and the Cool Lime didn't let me down either! The yummy tea flavor we've come to expect from Starbucks, but with that added sweet element I personally found lacking in their other cold teas. Yes, yes, we have a winner! And of course, the added bonus and whole reason that I had to get creative for my Starbucks Tuesday: no dairy!

But question of the morning: why did Starbucks give me a Subway straw with my drink?!? I'm so confused.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Saturday ~ Concerning Apple Dumplings

I'd told myself that I was not going to do yet another post consisting of merely pictures taken from my phone, but alas, as Katheryn and I are house-sitting (oh, glorious "home ownership!!"), I have no other device with which to chronicle today's baking endeavor.

The word baking implies a lot more effort than I actually put into the kitchen today. Assembled might be a better word. I found this recipe by accident, and it intrigued me because one of it's ingredients was Mountain Dew - not your typical ingredient for baking. It also included crescent roll dough, apples, butter, white sugar, and cinnamon sugar. In other words, Apple Dumplings. No, not the gang. The food. **goofy grin**

To make according to Kellie:

Peel and slice 'dem apples into eight wedges. Granny Smith's will probably be what you want. You know, those super crunchy ones that about take out a tooth when you try and bite into them. Don't worry about that. The apples will be a soft, yummy mush later.

To open crescent rolls, tear the crescent roll paper like it instructs, and then bang it on the side of the counter approx. 5 times until it finally pops open (since they never pop open just by tearing the paper like they are supposed to - can I get an amen??). Try not to scream when they burst open in your hands.

Wrap/roll an apple wedge in each crescent triangle, beginning with the smallest part of the triangle. Place then in 9 x 13 pan. You can squeeze those 16 babies in there, trust me!

Next, if you were to follow the recipe, you'd mix an ungodly amount of butter, sugar and cinnamon together to pour over those sleeping beauties reposing in their pan. If you're ME, you mix about 1/4 cup MELTED butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and about a teaspoon of cinnamon. Pour that poison over the rolls.

Lastly, take a can of Mountain Dew (or estimate about a cup from a larger bottle you have on hand. You know, that last bottle from your hidden stash in the trunk of your car...oh wait? No one else does that? Never mind, moving on.) and pour that nectar over the rolls.

Pop the pan into a 350' pre-heated oven for about 35 minutes, or until they begin to get the kind of tan you'd like to have yourself. I over-tanned mine just a mite. The part of the dumplings that are still in contact with the Dew in the pan will still look squishly. Let 'em cool a few minutes, then eat those babies up!

They may not be the prettiest thing you've ever eaten (at least mine weren't, due to their over-extended vacation in the oven, but they taste great!) Very glad that I reduced the amount of butter and sugar, otherwise I think they would have been way.too.sweet. As it was, they had a mild sweet flavor that went really well with the apply flavor inside. And you can't taste the Mountain Dew, and like I said earlier, the apples with be a pleasant soft mush-but-not-too-much consistency.

I though they were delish! Quick, easy, and that apple inside will trick you out into thinking there's nutritional value in the consumption thereof! Which is always a plus. **winky winky**

Update: after munching on them most of the day, I decided that I like them absolutely best when they are thoroughly cold. Katheryn agreed.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Thursday ~ I live. I love. I like...

Long, comfy cardigans. All year round.

How the smell and taste of hot cocoa is the smell and taste of the holidays, even though it's only August.

Sitting with a suburban-load of friends for an hour and a half after a 45 minute drive in the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru. And getting the last of the lemonade. =)

Answered prayers.

The billboard along the freeway just (unfortunately) passed the oh-so-convenient Starbucks that says "It takes courage to save money. But it's worth it."

The same scarf worn last Thursday.

The word "tickety-boo." Thank you, Samantha Stewart! <--- (If you don't know what I'm talkin' about, then you're missing out! Ask me.)

Sisters who double as best-friends. 

The rumbling vibrations of a friendly cat's companionable purring.

An exciting weekend ahead!!