Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Friday's Finds :: the wooden stool

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It's time again for another feature of Friday's Finds!


If you're fairly new to reading here at Treasured Up and Pondered - you might like to be filled in on an "occasional read" that I like to present, something of what I call...Friday's Finds.

It's where...On Fridays, I like to try and feature "a find" of no particular value or sentiment, no reason or rhyme and yet, exactly for all of those reasons I just mentioned.

Thanks for coming by or just for sticking around.  It's good to have you here, today.

I have a little family-history story to share with you today, if you don't mind?

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:: The Wooden Stool ::

Recently, we inherited this here stool as a "pass-down" in the family. Quite the gift.

It's been told, to me, by my Mother-in-law, that this particular wooden stool was once a baby high chair, used in particular for her father and his two other siblings... back when they were babies/toddlers.

Imagine that!

This means it was my husband's grandfathers chair - which Grandpa is at least 89 years old, by now.  I think he'll turn 90 years of age this November. I'm not 100% sure where "PJ" fell in the family line.   I believe he was the youngest of the family.  I'm going to have to check on that.
But if all three of the children used this same stool as their highchair... then you figure it out.  It's old!

And, as you can tell.  There once had been arms on this chair - that held a tray - and at one point they both have gotten sawed off. 
When I asked about this... it was relayed to me that Scott's (my husband) great-grandmother had done this and that she then used this stool for herself, one because she was only about 4' 11" in height and two, she needed a stool to sit up to the table to make her butter and cottage cheese, as well as count out the chicken eggs before taking them to market, in the mornings, along with milk, to sell.

All it needs a bit of carpenter glue to hold the seat together, as there is a pretty large crack through the center of it. Maybe a touch-up of paint -but then again, I kinda like it like it is.  It adds to it's charm and character.
Other then that, it's quite the sturdy, little stool.

And still quite useful.

Oh!  how fun to have a piece of history in our home. 

A chair used quite a bit by my children's great-grandfather and by their great-great grandmother over the years.

By this photo, you can tell, the stool  is currently being used, in our home, as a piano seat, mostly by Caleb (and Aubrey when she wants to!) as he sits to the piano - for his famous concert piano pieces he so graciously attunes our ears to.


Really...it is!  And to further encourage his interest - I do my best to applaud and comment on Caleb's creative musical renditions - no matter how soft & pretty or how long and how loud.  He always asks if I like.  Yes!  Yes, I do.

I honestly can't wait for the real music lessons to be in place.  We'll see if his wooden seat of choice and his enthusatic interest in playing the piano are in complete harmony by the time his music classes begin (hopefully!) sometime this fall.

So far, they compliment one another nicely. Perfect size and heighth.  It's the most wonderful little wooden stool.  Don't you think?
I hope I got all my facts straight...regarding Scott's great-grandmother, Katherine Mae.  If not, I'll be back to edit. ;)

In the meantime. 

Enjoy your weekend! 
Try to stay cool today!  Its blazin' hot and humid around here this afternoon. 


Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Farmhouse BBQ Muffins

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For a fun lunch or a quick and easy, on-the-go sort of supper dish...try these!

 ~ Farmhouse BBQ Muffins ~

1 tube (10 oz.) refrigerated buttermilk biscuits
1 pound ground beef
1/2 cup ketchup
3 T. brown sugar
1 T. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar cheese

Seperate dough into 10 biscuits; flatten into 5" circles.  Press each into the bottom and up sides of a greased muffin tin.  (I use my P. Chef stone, so no need to grease)
In a skillet, brown ground beef; drain.  In a small bowl mix ketchup, brown sugar, vineger and chili powder; stir until smooth.  Add to meat and mix well.
Use about 1/4 cup/scoop and divide the mixture among the biscuit lined cups.  (Tip: the dough will have plumped up, while waiting - do another "pushing the dough" into the muffin tins...so the meat will fill in better.)

Sprinkle each with cheese. 
Bake at 375* for 18-20 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool for five minutes or so before removing from muffin tin and serve.  Yield: 10 muffins.


Are you enjoying your week so far?  How about these last few - very cool - days?
Let me tell you, I've been soaking it up, wishing I could save it up.
Collect it - in a bottle!

Our children have been L.O.V.I.N.G Vacation Bible School - so far.  It ends this Friday evening.
So far, for myself, this week I've been busy cleaning, sorting, throwing out... all kinds of stuff.

Even getting a chance to sew this week. 

Watch out, people!
It feels really good.

Until next time!  Enjoy... this day!

Monday, June 25, 2012

steppin' out in faith

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It's a simply gorgeous day, around here, this fine Monday afternoon.  I pray that you're all doing well.  Better then me. 

I'm fine.  Just a little disturbed about my blog, right now and I'm trying to figure out what is going on and what to do about it.

It seems like someone in Australia is thinking my life must be pretty fanatical in order for them to plagiarize the whole ENTIRE thing... and call it their own.  I'm just trying to see if this "notice" will cause them to rethink what they're up too and "ask for permission" to use all of my content or at least parts of it... before they do this some more.

Let's put it this way.  http://www.treasuredupandpondered.blogspot.com.au/   I'm on to you.

This can make you kinda nervous, doesn't it?  I wonder.  How do I be like Jesus in this moment?

EDITED to UPDATE:  I was corrected (regarding this via comments) and I sincerly apologize.

Now.  On to other and more important bloggy updates.  I'm going to take it kinda easy this week around here.  I think it will be a bit of touch and go.  A lot of this week involves some extra babysitting and Vacation Bible School for our children.  Plus...

Watching baby Jayne take some steps on her own - now using a baby walker - around the house.  Wow!  10 months went by pretty fast.  Four more teeth have popped through, as well.

 And... I want to just slow down and enjoy the moments. 

Also.  I have some VERY wonderful things planned for you - my friends in the near future, which I'm super excited about, and so like I said - in order to draw out the excitement, we're going to take our time in getting there.  Okay?

God bless your day!

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Lavender Loveliness

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The kiss of the sun for pardon,

The song of the birds for mirth,

One is nearer God's Heart in a garden

Then anywhere else on earth.

Dorothy Frances Gurney


Have a wonderful weekend, celebrating this ~ this Loveliness!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Warm Summer!

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Yesterday, and today, are supposed to be pretty warm days, around here.  Actually kinda HOT!  I don't know what they're calling for, for tomorrow.  But why worry about tomorrow, right? 

I thought it would be kinda appropriate to take the time today to show you a bag I made for a dear friend of mine...who's summer looks like it's going to be a bit of a crazy summer.  I wanted to bless her with this... for a way to keep her self together in all of their comings and goings.  For you, my dear friend ~ Kristy!

:: Warm Summer ::

 Overnight Style Bag

In fact, yesterday.  I was able to spend the whole day with this friend of mine.  Our kids - play so well together, even though hers are a lot older then mine.  It always warms my heart!

The one thing about yesterday - while the day was a scorcher (today is to be worse!) - we didn't even notice it, at least for the most part.  Her home is semi-air conditioned and we were comfortable.  We didn't have to go out doors.  But, we did! - into her garden... so cute.  Tasted a few raspberries, trimmed a rose bush, admired her hydrangeas and tomatoes, etc.

Not to mention.  The pleasure of being in their home, as a whole - the company, the hospitality, the conversation, the visit over coffee & fudge (most decadent) ... all of it... was warm. 


Most of all...Refreshing.

What a wonderful warm, summer day!!

See what  else is available, HERE.  Thank you!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

(homemade) garden tea concentrate

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Today, I thought I would share with you a recipe for a refreshing summer drink.  This is always nice to have on hand.   Something different besides a cool glass of water.  You can always add lemon slices for an even nicer touch.
If you have access to a patch of tea... go for it!  Make this.

Homemade Garden Tea Concentrate

4 cups water
1 1/2 - 1 3/4 cups sugar (I only use 1 cup)
1 T. lemon juice
2 cups packed tea leaves (I'm talking Peppermint, Spearmint, Woolly Mint, etc.)

Bring first two ingredients to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.  Turn off heat.  Add tea leaves & lemon juice.  Let steep for 5-6 hours.  This makes 1 quart of concentrate.  (Can freeze!)  Add three quarts of water to make one full gallon of tea. 

I will often make enough for three batches, at once. Putting the remainder in quart jars to freeze.  I don't pick off the tea leaves, either - I leave them on the stem (but washed and picked over, meaning I do not let leaves with spots or whatever on them. ) and just tie the bunch off and set them into the simple syrup to brew.  Strain  the tea, if you like.

Enjoy your tea - with me!

Monday, June 18, 2012

So. How did OUR weekend roll?

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Like this. 

On Saturday, we headed up,  soon after lunch to my sister and brother-in-law's (John & Rachel) for a long day of "down on the farm" activity.

I always admire my sister's hard work out in their garden... it's getting better and better every year. ;)

Did you know that if you plant Marigolds next to the bean and potato plants -it naturally keeps the bugs away?  Also if you plant Lavender in and around your garden - it helps to keep the deer away, as well?

While there... I picked a few of these beauties...although they're nearing their end.  I only got a small handful.

Still.  So sweet and quite yummy.


Well.  The reason we were up there at my sister's place was for Chicken Butchering.  Yup!  You read that right.

These pretty birds didn't know that this was they're last day to see sunshine.  Not that they saw that much anyway as they've been in their coop...up in the barn.

The next photo is pretty GROSS.  But it worked. The rope strung out to hang the birds up on, to do all the pluckin' of the feathers.
Once again... I'd call that ReD-NecK "injamanuity".  However, pretty creative if I must say so myself. 

I want to clear up one thing.  I didn't  actually "help" with the chicken part.  You might say... I was "the chicken".  I do my part later - in the kitchen - when I cook and pick it!
I stayed indoors, mostly, keeping kids company, baking for and cooking lunch.  Folding laundry and you know... stuff like such.  Helping my sister out.  Paying it forward, so to speak.

Of course.  By evening, ALL six of the children had gotten themselves so dirty. 
Her three girls and our three. It's what cousins do when they get together, right?
 My sister had to head out for the evening, with other commitments.  And there was NO WAY on God's green earth that the children were going to go home or to their beds without getting a bath.

  So, while the guys were wrapping things up outdoors... I gave all six of them their baths.  Quite the line-up!

For once, I could relate to my mother in the Saturday Night bathtime routines and what-have-youThere were nine of us, remember?


Scott said he had a wonderful Father's Day!  He got a few very nice phone calls from the family, wishing him so.
Still. It was a pretty normal Sunday.
It was our week to serve in the Nursery - at church.  And, so I shewed Scott out of there - letting him enjoy the service instead and besides...

Scott had a part to play in the actual service.  He was asked by our pastor to "re-enact" as a Town Crier (costume included) for a portion of the message.  Basically it was meant to drive a point home. 

By the sounds of it...
He did a fine job!

Lots of compliments followed. 
I wish I could've heard it, myself, and gotten a photo.  But, like I said - I was in the church Nursery class (Jayne's)...serving there.

He is also acting as "Farmer Brown", this week. 
Earlier this spring, a mother cow lost her life in giving birth to this here calf.  Our landlord has asked Scott to take over this week in bottle feeding it - as he is away on vacation.  The kids enjoying helping out.  
Of Course!!

Meet the calf, so named Buttercup!


We rounded off our evening with a typical Sunday night, Mennonite Supper.

Never thought of this...brilliant! Cinnamon Roll Waffles! mmmm
I found this idea on Pinterest.

 Except that I just used the plain biscuits.  Not bad.  Not bad. 
Especially when dinner is "in a hurry".

And so we had waffles and Ice Cream. 

With a yummy sampling of Rhubarb-Strawberry Goop over it all. (optional)  That was a share from my sister Rachel.  So good.  Email me if you want the recipe - I'll get it to you.

Oh, and popcorn - of course!  How can you have a mennonite, sunday-night supper without it?

I'm trying to think what else I did this weekend.

I went to help a friend of mine - tweek her blog and to fix something that she "messed" up on.  That was a pretty late friday night, till I got home, and...
Oh yeah. I finally finished up this book, as well. 

Lineage of Grace
(so good!)
I say finally because it took me way too long. It was a "borrow" from my mother. And normally Francine Rivers - being my favorite author, of all time, for fiction - shouldn't take me as long as this book has taken me to go through. I only get to read at bedtime for a wind down....if that?

What else?
oh! Early Saturday Morning - before we left for the butchering- I baked a couple of Rhubarb Pies, just for something yummy to share, with the family.

What did you do this weekend?  I wonder.

PS:  Chicken!  It's what's for dinner.

Friday, June 15, 2012

{this moment} with Uncle *Jay*

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{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.

On the go... this weekend!

May yours roll smoothly.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

and the lovely winner is...

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"Wear that S.M.I.L.E."
~ Pocket Pouch, by:

The winner of the Mugs & Muffins giveaway was

:: Nancy B. ::
Congratulations!  I'll get this out to you right away, my friend. ;)

A big thank you to all who took time to share their thoughts and their smiles.  By the way,  I'm really loving this interaction and to the newbies that popped in to join us, this is awesome!  I hope you'll be back for more.

Mugs & Muffins comes around the second Monday of each month.  Give or take.  It's always fun to see what's up next.  And who?  It could be you...

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Now I'm off.  Off to prepare for a friend and her little ones coming over for the day.  Time to make the tea.
I think we'll be using the front porch today.  A LOT.  It's a beautiful day for that sort of thing.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Be Seen!

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Sometimes in the hiding we forget the curtain is sheer.

You can run, but you cannot hide.

I say this to myself all of the time, and yet - I still try to hide.
No matter - still the curtain is sheer, especially in God's eyes and in all of the eyes around us.  One day we will be exposed.  We will always be exposed.

::like now::

These words, today, have exposed me.  I don't always believe I have anything to offer - so why try?  Why not sit crumpled, crouching in the corner...as if I won't be seen. 
I like to think this will happen.

Isn't there that little Sunday School song...with the line...

Brighten the corner where you are?

Even there.

If the Light of the World is in you - you will (still) be seen.

Be Seen!


Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Hope you're having a sweet day!

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Sunshine and roses
Raindrops on noses
Which ever it may
Be it a great day!

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Blessings. To you. My friend.

These lovely Old Roses were given to me as a gift from my aunt Mary Jeanne.  Sharing the love with you all.

By the way...
My Mugs and Muffins giveaway is still on.  It will end on Wednesday evening at 10pm, EST.  You still have time to share your thoughts. 

I would really love to hear from you!

Monday, June 11, 2012

Mugs & Muffins :: Giveaway! :: that Smile!

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Good Morning and welcome back to our third installment of Mugs and Muffins! 

This morning...
is exciting for me for a couple of reasons.

You see, yesterday was my birthday.  Hey! wait a minute. Wasn't the last time we did Mugs & Muffins the day after my anniversary?  Well, I'm not really trying this.  Honestly, I'm not.  I'm just going with the flow and well, this is what is next.  Thanks for celebrating with me.  Alrighty then...moving on.

Okay ladies, so pull up your chairs. Grab your favorite mug.   Is it coffee in yours?  I've been thinking about trying a Vanilla Chai Tea or something for something different... and well, that would mean me going out and getting me one, because I don't have anything like that of the sort around here.  And, why am I hankering for that?  I have no idea...
Well.  I'm not going anywhere.  So...coffee (of course!) will have to do.  Not that that's a hard thing, at all.

But I do think the vanilla chai would go fabulous with our muffins here this morning.  Well, they are not really muffins they're biscuits. ;) Today we have Upside-Down Orange Biscuits.  The recipe will follow, at the bottom of this post.  You'll want to be sure to grab it.

Let's get on with our topic of choice today.  Thanks again for stopping by and joining in.  I'm so excited you're here.
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A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.

This topic of hospitality, as I alluded to on Thursday, is one I often come back to - over and over again - and will continue to do so.  I hope you never tire of it...because I pray I never do.  It's such an important aspect of the Christian Life.  And, as a woman (of God!), it's easier to embrace then we realize. 

So.  How am I getting the topic of hospitality out of the above quote, when it's talking about a smile and you're heart being at home?  It all goes hand in hand.

Some time ago.  Oh my goodness.  A LONG time ago, back when I was a teenager in youth group.  Our small group was headed out on a day trip to wherever (can't remember) and we stopped at a fast-food place to pick up either breakfast or lunch.  Again, an unimportant detail that I don't remember.

However, I do remember it was my turn to order.  I had stepped up to the counter to do just that and the person behind the counter (rather loudly) makes mention of my smile.  It caught me so off guard.  To them - my smile - was beautiful and it made their day and they took the time to share that with me and everyone else within earshot.  I, of course, was also naturally embarrassed by this and down deep (at the time) didn't believe it.  Not one bit. I still don't think it is anything to write home about - as in drop-dead gorgeous.  But.  I've gotten to thinking about that moment - from time to time - since.  Obviously, it left a pretty big impact on me if I still remember that moment so vividly.  What did this person really notice?  Did this person see Jesus in me, or what?  I'll never know for sure, but I can certainly hope so - because that is really Who I would want someone to take notice of.  Not me.  I also know I will never, ever see this person again, in my life, however, I think what they noticed - it was "a word" meant for me - in that moment.  From God himself.

Wear that smile! 

Wear it well.
(the truth is... I didn't even realize that I was smiling.)

You see!  A smile can make all the difference, in the world.  It is the light showing through the window (your countenance) of your soul.  You'll never know what kind of impact, impression, influence you'll leave behind...if you do.

A heart at peace gives life to the body. (Proverbs 14:30)

People can sense this, about people.

A genuine smile brings warmth.  It speaks confidence.  It's friendly and inviting.  It draws others.  It makes a difference.  It can't help but be infectious, contagious and  it will over take your life, if you let it and want it to.

Is it always easy? 

 No!  It isn't. 

And I'm the first one to admit - after all of this...I don't smile nearly as often as I should.  Particularly at home and in the daily grind in and of mothering.  Even as a wife... I struggle.  Ask my darling husband. ;(

(I'll share something here on an even more personal note, and I'm totally being honest.)

When my hubby walks in the front door after a long day at work... I know I should be the bubbling-over, most happiest thing he ever laid eyes on and too often, I am not.  I have a real hard time flipping the switch to going from working through the "bewitching hour", with the kiddo's, to the "Yeah! here comes Daddy!" moment, and embracing him with true, genuine love and affection he's longing for and that he truly deserves.  It makes him feel as though I'm upset with him, or something, when in reality it's the complete opposite. I'm relieved to see him - quite actually - but that hospitable heart posture is still a challenge to present.  The phone might ring, right then, and I'm all chipper-ish and smiley...and, what! how did that happen, on a dime?

This is truly an area where I need to practice and grow...and change. (you can pray for me...)
I don't know if anyone else struggles with this or not... but it is another aspect to hospitality.  Starting in our own homes. So see? and, another opportunity (for me) to practice it (Romans12:13), at that.

A good question to ask is: How does your man feel when he comes home?  Does he even want to come home, knowing what he might encounter there?  Is his wife's heart - at home?  Can he tell?

What does your face communicate?

I share all of that to say...

What is on our faces is clearly an indication of what is going on the inside.  Whether it is a smile or a frown...what is on the inside must and will come out.

Think about these two different verses found in Proverbs.  They almost say the same thing.  But see if you can make out the difference.  One is something and the other does something.  One makes you the blessing.  The other makes you the blessed.

Proverbs 15:13 - A happy heart makes the face cheerful, but heartache crushes the spirit.
Proverbs 15: 30 - A cheerful look brings joy to the heart, and good news gives health to the bones.

Friend, if your heart is at home...at peace.  Then, for sure, your countenance will reflect that.  And so will mine. 

A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.

I like this practical application.

I have a dear friend, in real life, whom I greatly admire.  This woman (Susan Kemmerer) blesses me, consistently with her example.  I got her permission to share this and well... I just want to say... if you've ever met this gal - you know what I'm talking about. If you haven't met her yet.  You need to! (I feel like I should give a bit of an introduction - something she didn't give me permission to do). Or click HERE; this is her version. ;)  Susie is a writer, speaker, author, business owner - all to do with homeschooling-  as well as a mother of nine (seven sons and two daughters) and a blessed -thoroughly enjoying being a -grandmother.
Susie is ALWAYS smiling.  Even when it isn't easy. It has often made me curious... as to how or why it is she smiles so easily?  Susie has had some pretty tough moments (especially here of late) in her life, and yet... without fail... there is always this beautiful smile on her face. 

She writes in her book - Homeschool Supermom - NOT!  that this was a learned thing for her.

Read the practical advice she shares...

If the habits of reaction are proving difficult to break in your own life, think in small, definite chunks of time.  This is what I had to do when I first determine to walk in a way that was pleasing to God.  I literally said to myself, "For the next 15 minutes, I will not react in anger or say anything rude.  Even if one of the kids spills another glass of milk or gets into another squabble, I will demonstrate the peace that God has graciously promised to grow in my life.  I will smile at my kids.  Help me, God, for the next 15 minutes."

When I walked triumphantly for 15 minutes, I went for the next 15 minutes.  I practiced this, crying out to God minute-by-minute, until my bad habits were broken and new habits were in place.  Taking small steps like this, empowered by God, takes an overwhelming goal (like ridding your home of C.H.A.O.S.) and makes it achievable.  No, you may not be able to control your responses for an entire day, but by God's grace you can control them for the next 15 minutes!  Pray without ceasing (sending up those constant little pleas for help), and watch the power of God transform your life one minute at a time!
later in the book, she writes this...

(How to pursue gentleness...)

Learn to smile at your kids... a frequent, gentle smile is such a small thing, but so meaningful.  It portrays a message of joy and hope to one who receives it.  It's almost impossible to not respond with a smile to someone who smiles at you.  Don't withhold your smiles only for those times when they succeed.  You're smile shouldn't be bestowed only as a reward.  It should be freely and liberally given as a sign of your love, even when - especially when - your children are struggling.
A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones. (Proverbs 17:22 KJV).

So?  How often does a simple smile reflect out to others of what's going on inside?  All of the time. 

Can anyone add any thoughts to this?  Tell me about a time when a smile given made a deep and lasting impression on you? Or when you may have shared a smile or two - just because someone else needed it.
All comments will be included in the giveaway, today!

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First the recipe.  Here it is, as promised. 

 Upside-Down Orange Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
3 T. shortening
3/4 cup milk
2 T. butter, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup orange juice
3 T. butter, melted
2 tsp. grated orange peel (optional)

In a large bowl, combine flour, baking powder and salt; cut in shortening until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.  Stir in milk just until moistened.  Turn onto a lightly floured surface; knead gently 10-12 times.
Roll into a 15" x 12" rectangle.  Spread with softened butter.  Combine sugar and cinnamon; sprinkle over butter.  Roll up jelly-roll style, starting from the short side.  Cut into 12 equal slices.  Place, cut side down, in a greased 9 inch round baking pan.
Combine topping ingredients; pour over biscuits.  Bake at 450* for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.  Cool in pan for 5 minutes; invert onto a platter and serve warm.
Yield: 1 dozen.

** Recipe from Taste of Home.
((By the way.  These are so delicious! I had to bake something for my own birthday.))
. . . . . .
And now, for that long awaited Giveaway!!  I'm really excited about this.  Because it is something from me!!
I've chosen to giveaway one of my signature Pocket Pouches...unique to A Bevy of Old & New (formally known as Bags by Bevy).

No two bags are alike.  And.  So what you'll get will be VERY similiar to this one, here in the photo - but not exact.  The reason I'm showing you this bag - is because I'm still working on the one for the giveaway.  I've had a VERY busy (birthday) weekend.
Tucked inside, the pocket pouch, as part of the giveaway, will be a few "bottom-of-the-bag" type goodies, just like the items floating around in the bottom of yours. ;) 

So that's it!!  I hope I brought a smile to your face today! 

Please share your thoughts and comments regarding this topic.  It's "open mic" time! Tell me when a particular smile has made an impact in your life.  And your comment will be included - as I mentioned - into today's giveaway.

The giveaway ends WEDNESDAY (June 13th) at 10pm, EST.  If you comment anonymously, or don't have your own blog, please be sure to include your name and an email so I can contact you.  The winner will be announced sometime Thursday - the 14th of June.  Thanks for entering.
This Giveaway is now Closed!
Please note...
If you're at all interested in "sponsoring" Mugs & Muffins by donating a unique item (handmade) for a giveaway - please email me. This would be one way to get your name/item out there.
Or.  If you're at all interested in being a Guest Post writer.  I would love to hear from you!!  You don't need to have your own blog to contribute.  You're still welcome...
That's what this is... a circle of ladies, in community.  Learning and sharing with one another.  I hope to hear from you.
Thank you, so much.

Friday, June 8, 2012

:: {this moment} :: favorite things :: fun on friday ::

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The simplistic elements of a balloon + string + green grass = two happy children, running free

linking up with Rachel over at Finding Joy...
friday favorite things </P>
<P>finding joy


{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember. ~ Soulemama

Oh Moment! Please don't go.

A happy, happy weekend to you all!! 

May you find a moment to celebrate...
Make a memory...
Savor... the blessing of this moment, all while in the making.

See you on Monday!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

bring on the smiles

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A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.

I just keep coming back to this idea of hospitality.  I know I talk about this a lot and I'm hoping your not bored with it yet.  But there are so many forms and facets to it... it's neat, if your really think about it.  I mostly share this with you, so often, because I'm still learning what it means, for myself, to "let my light shine" and how I can do that, practically...under the umbrella of hospitality...but uniquely through, and more specifically as a Christian. A woman of God, a wife, a mother and as a friend.

In a more particular way... through smiling.

I can't wait for Monday, for our next Mugs & Muffins.  I hope you'll be back to join me as we delve into this further.  Be thinking about this idea of extending hospitality through the simple means of your smile.  Come prepared to share...yours!  Please?  Pretty please.

And.  We'll feature another great muffin recipe (of course!) and a pretty nice giveaway - you won't want to miss it!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

10,000 Reasons

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Just been humming along with this song, all week long.
Hope you enjoy!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Funny Cake

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A little while ago now, I posted about it's counterpart.  Not a rival but it's close friend or cousin...whatever you want to call it.  Two very, very different pies... but you almost can't have the one without offering the other as an alternative or an addition to your breakfast menu selection.  They belong together. It's like they need to be mentioned in the same breath.  Shoo-fly and Funny Cake.

Well today, I'm giving Funny Cake it's place on the map.  I'm sharing with you the recipe that gets the most requests from my own family or friends.  It's an actual pie, but a cake nonetheless.  A true treat of the PA Dutch from generation to generation.  One that I like to make because the question is always asked... what makes it funny?  And for another reason... it's that a lot of folks don't know what it is, may never have had it before and therefore it is always a fun "hostess" treat to make - a nice gift to give. 

A homemade pie!  A funny cake, at that?  Who could possibly pass it up?

~ Funny Cake Pie ~

SYRUP - mix together the following and set aside
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup cocoa
1/2 cup hot water
1/2 tsp. vanilla

1 cup sugar
1/4 cup oil
1 egg
Cream together and then add:
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla

Sift together :
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. baking powder
and add to creamed mixture.  Mix by hand, some lumps are okay.  Pour batter into 1 9" unbaked pie crust and pour chocolate syrup mixture over top, swirling around as you go.  Bake at 375* for 45-50 minutes.
Note:  To double the recipe and make two 9" pies or 3 8" pies - you must double all ingredients EXCEPT for the oil.  At that point, only use a total of a 1/3 cup of oil.
Always enjoyed with a cold glass of milk or hot cup of coffee!

Monday, June 4, 2012

Caleb's Perspective

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It's here!!  This is the last day of his first 'year' of school.
Funny photo here of my big guy - but we were in a real hurry to get out the door, this morning.  Gettin' it on down the road and off to our last day of Pre-K school, for Caleb. 

I have mixed emotions surging through me on a day like today.
My little guy is growing up.     It's sad.  I think I'm going to miss his teachers and school buddies (and their moms!) more then I realize.  More then even Caleb realizes.

 This means summer vacation, now... and many days are ahead of him asking when is Kindergarten.  Do I have school today?  How long will I have until Kindergarten starts?  So on and so forth.

The other day, it must have been Friday, Caleb came home from school with this booklet that he made, entitled "A collection of Pre-Kindergarten Memories". In it is a page of his first drawing and his name and a second page of the same showing of how well he improved over the school year.  At the start of school, he was 42 1/2" tall.  By the end he had grown to 44 3/4" tall.
  I got a huge smile out of this booklet and I thought you would too, because I want to share with you the page of "Caleb's Perspective".  (his words in red).

I live in the United States of America.  There are about 11 people that live here. 

The President of the United States is ? - I don't know and his job is ? - I don't know.

These days a house costs about $6. and a hamburger costs $9

 I think the world would be a better place if people shared money.

 I think God is love.

My mom is 11 years old.  Her favorite thing to do is  tell us stories.  I like it when she gets books to read.

My dad is 16 years old.  His favorite thing to do is taking care of cars and working with Uncle John.  I like it when he builds tree houses.

I am 4 years old.  My favorite thing to do is play with my sisters.

I like to eat macaroni and cheese  and my favorite color is blue.  The game I like to play is Candy Land.

If I could have any toy it would be a lollipop from the dentist.

I am thankful for my family

This summer I would like to go on vacation.

When I grow up I would like to be an engineer on a train.

~ Caleb

On our drive into school, this morning.  The conversation turned to the fact that since today was the last day of Preschool for Caleb he wondered if tomorrow was Kindergarten? 
I assured him that Kindergarten would come, in the fall,  and then it would be:

First Grade
Second Grade
Third Grade
Forth Grade
Fifth Grade
Sixth Grade
(pausing for effect)
Seventh Grade
Eighth Grade
Ninth Grade
Tenth Grade
Eleventh Grade
Twelvth Grade
and then,

I could tell he was clueing in that there was a lot of learning ahead. But not really... when he said with a laugh, "Whoa, that's a lot of Kindergarten."
  Yes! my son.  There are many years ahead... of school.  I just hope you love it as much throughout the upcoming years as you have of Pre-K this past year.

As we turn our back on this first year of school - soon little miss Aubrey will start school.  Not this coming year, but the next.  (sigh)

Oh... to have such a simple perspective that has much room to grow and to expand.  What an opportunity to mold and shape and influence.  I'm so grateful for the opportunity to have sent Caleb to a Christian School (at least for this year!) that helped to do all of that so well.

Now, the big question.  What to do with all the papers (I've kept them all along) and all the wall hanging artwork he brought home.  I don't want to throw it... but we don't really have room to hang it anywhere.

What did you all do?
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