Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Great Christmas Party Recipe



Want to know what is yummy?

This...


I'm not really sure this qualifies as a candy though.  Or a fudge.  But it tastes like both.

Candy thermometers scare me a little bit.
So I try to avoid recipes that use them.

My twin sister and I have tried making fudge and mine has always turned out like giant pieces of...well, you get the picture.  
Same for Peanut Patties. 
Because of how terrible they turned out, we forever call them Peanut Gross-ies.

My good friend Desta sent me this delicious concoction a few years ago.
It is called "Ritz Coconut Crackle".

I love making it.  I love eating it.  I love taking it to people and they think I worked really really hard at impressing them.
Don't you love recipes like that?



I made some today for our neighbors and coworkers.  
Hope you try it out and like it!

It's a good (and easy) one folks.

Recipe for Ritz Coconut Crackle:

35 RITZ CRACKERS
1 STICK of BUTTER OR MARGARINE
3/4 CUP FIRMLY PACKED LIGHT BROWN SUGAR
1 CUP CHOCOLATE CHUNKS (I used the Dark Chocolate ones today....mmmmm)
3/4 CUP BAKER'S ANGEL FLAKE COCONUT, TOASTED*

*To toast coconut, spread evenly on a cookie sheet.  Bake at 350 for about 8-10 minutes, watching closely at the end so it doesn't burn.  Then cool.
Leave the oven at 350.

(One time my twin sister called as I was doing this.  I was sitting on the couch gabbing on the phone when I smelled something awful.  I had blackened coconut.  So I highly advise you not to talk to your sister on the phone, or anyone for that matter, while making this simple recipe.)

 Arrange crackers in greased 15x10x1 inch pan. (You can be neat or messy.  Doesn't matter).  Bring butter & sugar to boil in medium saucepan on medium heat.  Boil for 2 minutes. (Exact here people.  The two minutes allows the sugar to caramelize.  Or something like that).  Pour over crackers in pan, almost completely covering crackers.

Bake this for 6-8 minutes or until it becomes bubbly and light brown. Sprinkle with chocolate chunks, bake another 1-2 minutes.  Using a spatula, then spread chocolate over crackers. Sprinkle with toasted coconut, pressing into chocolate lightly with a spoon. 

Later, after you have licked the spoons and tried little pieces here and there, it should harden. 
Then you can have some fun breaking it like ice.  Arrange on plates and take to parties.  Or make best friends with your neighbors.  Or eat it all yourself.  Er. Never mind.  I wouldn't do that.




Oh.  And P.S.

I took the girls to visit Santa last weekend at our little church by our house.
Evie came out to the van wearing fishnet hose - out of our Halloween box - to go with her Christmas dress.  
Thank goodness Santa was a gentleman and didn't say a word about it.




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Saturday, December 8, 2012

When Your Child is Sick

Earlier this week, I was crouched over on my hands and knees scrubbing the carpet in Evie's room.  I had already stripped the sheets and thrown them in the wash.  New sheets had already been put back on the bed.  I had tucked her into our bed and held her until she fell back asleep.
It was well after 3 a.m. but in the quiet,
I felt God's presence wrap around me.

Mothers of little ones know what this feels like. You would think exhaustion and irritability would take over, but in a weird way you find peace amidst the chaos.

My heart hurt for her.  
Her little eyes looked sad and she didn't want to feel this way. Other than give her comfort, there was nothing I could do.
But in her pain she needed me in a way she doesn't when she is full of energy, running and pursuing childhood with a ferocious appetite.

Each night before bed we tuck our girls in and one of us says a prayer over them before they sleep.
Lately Evie has been wanting to do all of the praying.
Probably because this is the way she can draw out bedtime.
She can pray for a loooonnnnggg time.
But the other week as she neared the end of her narrative to God she asked, "God, could You just make the whole world feel better?"

As I was on the floor that night, I had an overwhelming feeling that I wonder if God feels this way with us?

Instead of being turned away or angry at our sickness of sin did He feel mostly sad?
How much did it hurt Him to see us not at our best?


In such a loving and remarkable way He sent us Jesus as a way for us to get out of the mess.
I am so thankful as Christmas nears, we get to celebrate the birth of the One who literally saves us from this.

I both love and hate these pictures of my girls.
They both were very sick at the time, running high fevers.
In a subtle way it shows them not as they should be.




I don't know about you but I know I find an enormous amount of comfort and peace in knowing that God wants my best.  He wants such a full and abundant life for me that He grieves over my sickness and my sin.
He so longs to comfort and heal me that He sent me a Savior.
This doesn't guarantee I won't continue to struggle, get sick or still fall into places that I shouldn't be...but it means all I have to do when this happens is reach up like Evie did that night, cry out and allow myself to be comforted in His amazing grace.

If I haven't told you already....Merry Christmas.


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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Perfectionism...And How I'm Dealing with It

Uh.  You could say I have a few issues with perfectionism.  If you've known me for any length of time or read some of my posts, you might pick up on a theme here.

For better or worse, I think my perfectionism crisis hit an all time high during my senior year of high school.  

Achieve!
Do more!
Be the best!

I am not kidding (as I coincidentally shudder) when I say that I was a straight A student, a cheerleader, class president and pretty much the leader of any and every organization I could be in.  And all the while inwardly thinking that I also needed to achieve a perfect body.

Yuck. 

Twenty years later and funny how I still want to hold onto some of that junk.

Clearly, for most of my life I have believed the lie that being perfect equates to being loved.

It may sound silly, but this ugly little perfectionism monster creeps even its way into this blog.  There are days I think "why bother?"  "Who reads this anyway?"  "Is it worth the risk to put myself out there when clearly it isn't good enough?"  "I should post more"... but then there is laundry to fold or paperwork to get to...
Blogging is vulnerable!

This past month my tendency towards the lie of perfectionism has been strong.  About a month ago I found out I have several sacral stress fractures in my back, and I have been put on "rest" until January.  I am finding I don't rest nearly as well as I would have liked to believe I could.  Crap.  I'll be brutally honest.  It has been excruciating for me.   Not until this month have I realized how much I relied on physical activity to define my worth and make me feel good about myself.  

Time to practice what I preach, sister.
Here are the truths I am trying to remind myself.  

    I am really okay.  Just how I am.  I can be loved for who I am, not what I do.

    As Christmas approaches, my girls are going to remember time spent with me and my "presence" more than any activity or present I can buy them.

    Jesus is perfect.  I don't have to be.

    My body is allowed to go through seasons of change.  I am allowed to age gracefully.  Ten to twelve weeks of inactivity is not going to ruin me.
I won't be forgotten just because I am home alone lying on my couch.

   I can wear clothes that reflect my personality.  No one notices the size of my jeans as much as they notice the smile on my face and how I treat them.

   I am allowed to ask for help.  In big things and small.  My friends and family will gladly say yes when they can step in and they are allowed to say no if they cannot.  Their "no" doesn't mean I am not cared about...it simply means not now.

If I am lonely I can reach out and say that I need companionship in those moments.  I am finding my "rest" time flat on my back is so much easier when I have a friend over or I make the time to talk on the phone.  

I am allowed to make mistakes.  I do not have to relive my life recounting conversations and events.  I'm allowed to miss it.  And when I do, I can trust it will work out.

Healing is a priority right now and the most loving gift I can give myself.  I matter simply because God tells me I do.



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