Otis laying around, licking our wood. Don't ask...
Today was a pretty busy day at the Queen's. Hannah had some baking she wanted to do and get pictures while we had some sun. You can see her post here.
I decided to sew Hannah an apron; she is the messiest baker around. It turned out so cute. I used three different coordinating patterns so it has a lot of color. I'll get her to take a picture of it soon.
Sarah practiced her mandolin. William and Hayden went to do a couple of things for our business.
This evening while Sarah finished dinner, Wm. and I ran out to get some stocking stuffers and grab a bite to eat. We ended up a Chick-fil-A (I could eat it seven times a day). There were two girls singing Christmas songs for the customers. Then this large high school basketball group came in. The next thing we knew they were having a sing-a-long! It was a hoot!! It put a smile on my face.
Tomorrow we are building our ginger bread house, always a knee slapper.
Wishing you and yours a blessed Christmas!!
photography by Hannah Queen
Calvinism is nothing more and nothing less than the simple assertion that salvation is all of grace. God chooses us before we choose Him. It is a Biblical doctrine that, in my thinking, should not carry the name of a man.
Our personal agenda should not be to 'preach' Calvinism or reformed theology; our desire should be to embrace, confess, preach, and teach the truths of God's Word and share the gospel with everyone.
The real issue is not whether John Calvin is your personal theologian, but whether Jesus Christ is your personal Savior.
thoughts taken from Albert Mohler's writings
Today Hannah was making a trial run at this cake that she plans to take to some friends of ours over the holidays. OH MY!
First, she made the batter, no problem. She put the pans in the oven, set the timer and walked away. The timer went off, she opened the oven and it was cold! Someone had turned off the oven; I truly do not know who or how this happened. (that is my story and I am sticking with it) She was trying to work quickly to catch the little sun we have had to take pictures. See, this cake was also going to be a guest post on someone's blog.
She turns the oven on and lets it preheat and gets the cakes in the oven AGAIN. All good. They come out perfect.
She made the ganache for the filling last night and had it in the frig. That goes in the middle and it is time to make the icing...
OH my. It is a 7 minute icing if you have a hand mixer. We don't! So she has to hand mix it over boiling water. She enlists myself and her brother to take turns. It is now called the "15 minute icing' at our house.
Next I am asked to help with the icing of the cake except that the recipe didn't make enough to cover the whole cake. We are professionals here. No problem, we will ice half and she can shoot that side.
Well, that is all well and good except it becomes painfully obvious that she did not temper the chocolate correctly and the ganache is 'melting'. OH GOOD GRIEF!!!! On top of that this '15 minute' icing is getting marshmellowy and will not spread.
We decide to take the icing off and make a different icing. I tell Hannah to get busy with a new icing recipe and I will get the icing from hades off while trying to keep the ganache in!!! I finish and the cake looks like it has been attacked by a rabid baker with ganache oozing out like its life blood leaving it's battered body. (ok, a little dramatic, but you had to be there)
I throw the cake in the frig to try to save the filling. I open the door a couple of times just to taunt Hannah. Mean Mom!! She about falls over. Still no pictures of this lovely cake and the post is due to go to the blogger today.
After Hannah got the new batch of icing whipped up, she decides to take some of ganache from the middle. Can you say crazy??!! She grabs the top layer and the filling is running between her fingers. She is yelling at the dog to stop licking the floor and trying to keep the layer from breaking. Chaos!! But, she manages to pull it off.
The new icing was much better and we got it on the cake! She ran down stairs and got pictures and wrote her post. You can see it on her blog honeyandjam.com after Friday; it has to make is debut as a guest post first.
Here is another picture of the lovely, exhausting, bless our hearts cake!
Look at this new ad by Dockers. WOW!!! I am impressed and we need to let them know that we approve!!! Call them today and let them know that you like this ad.Dockers' Vice President of Global Marketing comments on the new marketing strategy in this interview with Brandweek.
22 "As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease."
Scripture tells us that the seasons will remain and never cease as long as the earth remains. Nothing will change the climate so that we no longer have cold and warm, winter and summer.
God promises us climate consistency in His Word. It amazes me how we overlook what is already written in scripture and go off on tangents because Al Gore or some scientist makes a statement about the climate.
We started decorating the outside with some branches from Christmas trees the Boy Scouts are selling. The girls got busy putting them together to put in various places.
I love the rustic, woodsy look. It certainly goes right along with our cabin.
Since my last post I have been trying to process all that is going on in my head concerning the holidays. I have discovered that this is not an easy task! There seems to be a lot of stuff going on in the northern most portion of my body.
Feelings of inadequacy have reared their ugly head. You don't decorate enough, you don't bake enough, you don't have 100 yr. old recipes you cook from... bla bla bla.
Then there are the real issues . No church home, no grandparents, no pile of cash, etc. Goodness, I sound pathetic.
So, I am working through these things; sometimes I do pretty good, other times, well, not so good. I want to sit down and have a good cry. I want to wallow in my perceived misery. UGH. So not worth it.
So what I don't live in a Southern Living house, we don't need another cookie, and 100 yr. old recipes aren't that good, we just want them to be.
SO THERE! I am determined to enjoy this season with my family and close friends. I am blessed, we are blessed.
Hannah says I hate the holidays; she has said this for years. This is not a completely true statement, but there is some truth buried in it.
It is difficult to admit there are some deep issues that make the holiday season less than 'bright' for me.
I do love the greening of the church, which we don't have right now. It was always such a sweet time for me. I also love the last service before Christmas; oh, what a holy, quite time. Being with those you love and thinking about the night our Savior was born is just special.
I love providing gifts for our local crisis center. There are many families in our area that have little and they depend on this center for gifts for their children. To read these kids letters is amazing, many just ask for basic necessities; things we take for granted. It is humbling and heart-warming. Some children will ask for things for their parents and for things for their family.
What I struggle with is not having extended family to be with. Don't get me wrong, I am so thankful for my husband and three children. But, my children have not had grandparents, aunts or uncles to see and visit. When everyone else is trying to fit in all their visits and dinners in December, we are not. When people are looking at their calendars trying to see what they have open, I don't have to, mine is free and clear.
I am a family person, but I am an only child. I wanted to have grandparents around to spoil my kids, but that wasn't to be. I wanted aunts and uncles to pick up the slack when we couldn't, that didn't happen either. Everything has rested firmly on our shoulders, no one to help with gifts, dinners, etc.
Don't get me wrong, I am not trying to spin a sad story to garner sympathy. I am just writing out what I have been trying to deal with the last few days; why my oldest child thinks I hate the holidays and why I find myself wishing they would be over.
I love the lights on the tree, planning special, thoughtful gifts for others. What I miss is someone loving my children like I do; wanting to be with them because they are so special to them. What I hate is them not having family that they can't wait to see.
Now, I have to take all of this and lay it at Jesus' feet; all the self-pity, sadness and disappointment. It ain't about me...
They who sow in tears shall reap in joy and singing. Psalm 126:5
These are the times I tend to think about my parents, broken friendships, sad events.
But, not today, I have hope. Hope that relationships will be restored. Hope that fellowship will come again.
I am overcome with joy because of your unfailing love,
for you have seen my troubles,
and you care about the anguish of my soul.
I am thankful for....
her and her sweet spirit
him and his sense of humor
and him, for his faithfulness
her, for her creativity
You turned my wailing into dancing;
you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
that my heart may sing to you and not be silent.
O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.
Psalm 20: 11-12
It is a melancholy day for me. I am not really a fan of change; not in areas that are foundational. Being an only child that lost her parents as a relatively young adult, I want those things that are my foundations to be stable.
Our marriage has always been solid and I thank William for that. Divorce has never been in our vocabulary. We have only owned two homes, so home has been stable. William hasn't had alot of jobs; he is stable in his employment. We have raised our children to be stable, responsible people.
Church hasn't been so stable for a year and that has been difficult. Yesterday we made the decision to remove our fellowship and membership with our church; not an easy decision. We are not angry, but definitely sad. We are not church hoppers because again we desire stability for our children and ourselves. Unfortunately there are times that you have to make the hard choice even when it means feeling unsure about the future.
So, now we pray where God would have us; where He wants us to minister. I have to trust Him because this is not an easy place for me.
Psalm 9:10Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
As I write William is getting things together for another camping weekend with the scout troop. His willingness to give of his time to our son and these our boys means a lot.
He is helping to make responsible, disciplined young men out of these boys.
Life has been busy in the Queen household. We have been finding ways to spend less as we enter winter when our business shuts down. Since the economy trashed our investments we must adjust even more.
The girls and I have organized our freezers, frig and pantry to make use of what we have. We also have made monthly meal plans to accommodate the meat and canned goods we have on hand.
It has really been an enjoyable time of working together, remembering what is really important and trusting our Lord to make provision. And He is the only One that really can!
Hayden and Sarah continue to become more proficient on their instruments. I love hearing them play together. Each has a different approach according to their personality.
Hannah's blog Honey and Jam continues to gain popularity and has caught the eye of several professional food photographers. There may be an opportunity for her to intern with one in the near future. Just the possibility has made her short of breath! It would be an incredible opportunity and a huge blessing.
William is still working and that is a HUGE blessing. I try not to think about next year (translate 'think'=worry) We have enough for now. Isn't it funny, I can see where God has provided over and over again, but I still worry. Oh me of little faith...
I hope to work on a post soon of different dinners that are low cost but don't compromise flavor.
Have a blessed day!
Tuesday night is scout night, so the girls and I headed out to our favorite shopping destination, TARGET!!!
A little over half way Sarah says "do you smell burning rubber?" I did, and looked around to see if there was another car nearby. No luck. I thought, "lets ignore it and see if it goes away". No such luck.
Hannah and I start to debate where to pull off. Of course we do, that is how we roll. I won!
We get out and start to laugh. The back right tire is FLAT!! How are we going to do this?! Sarah starts pulling stuff out of the trunk to get to the spare and tools. She is so not me! I take the jack and after several attempts actually get the car off the ground. GO ME!!
The next step requires the owners manual and it is getting dark. GRRREAT! Hannah has this teeny tiny flashlight on her key chain; lets call it a mouselight.
Never the less we figured out, with the help of tiny flashlight, that the center cap needs to come off. Sarah has a Swiss Army knife, of course she does, she is so not me. It isn't coming off, so I go back to the manual and discover that there is a little wire tool that helps you pull it off. GRREAT, it is dark now and we have to find this dang wire. We did and we got the cap off. GO US!!!
Now, to get the tire off. (note, set the parking brake so the tire doesn't spin and your oldest daughter is trying with all her might to prevent said spinning while other daughter is trying to loosening nuts while mom is laughing her head off)
About this time a knight in shining armor on a white steed comes to our rescue . Ok, he was actually in a yellow DOT truck and had on blue jeans, but he was a sight for sore eyes. He tells us to set the parking brake. hehe! And proceeds to finish changing our tire, the hero. We find out he is from our county, so we chatted him up while he worked. Poor man! He was so kind and gave us excellent tips on changing tires as we nodded like good students.
We finally were on our way again thanks to our good Samaritan. We shopped and had a nice dinner thanking God for protection and our friendly DOT guy.
Then you will go on your way in safety,
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