cakes · Celebrations · Family life · Parenting

Girl’s Trip #2

Throwback to our first Girl’s trip.

Almost 3 years ago my girls and I took our first girl’s trip. We were celebrating my birthday then. We had so much fun, and it was such a special blessing to connect with one another, that we were excited to plan another one!

Last weekend we took our second trip to celebrate a special 30th birthday, and I’ll let you figure out who’s turning 30! We went to a spot in South Carolina that was absolutely beautiful and perfect for our two night, three day getaway!

The most important part of any time is the people with whom you share it! We get along so well and it’s just so easy to be together. How blessed I am!

The place we stayed was on the 11th hole of the golf course, and also near a beautiful lake! There were stunning views all around us!

We chose to bring food and cook supper, lunch and breakfast. We want to have good food anytime we get together! This time did not disappoint!

To celebrate the birthday, we went out to dinner one evening. The picture below was my Tomato pie. It was amazing! It’s very different from the recipe that I make, and I loved it!

For birthday cake, I brought Chocolate Orange cakes – an Ina Garten recipe that we love. We went to a beautiful gazebo at the Lakeside for our birthday party.

There were so many fun things to do! One day we spent five hours in the swimming pool and had it almost completely to ourselves. What a fun, relaxing day!

No girl’s trip is complete without some shopping, right?! Soooo…

We had intentional times of conversation, talking about important matters in each of our lives. We had times of prayer and times in God’s Word. I’m so thankful we can share those spiritual moments that knit our hearts together.

Whitney did a great job planning the location for our getaway. We are all looking forward to the next event that we can celebrate!

Have you ever had a strictly girls trip? What was the best part?

cakes · Celebrations

Celebration Cake!

Strawberry Layer Cake

Last week I mentioned our wonderful 40 anniversary celebration our daughters gave us. Our family celebrations usually always include some GREAT food. This party was no exception! After lunch we went to our daughter’s home for cake! This was a Strawberry Layer Cake from Taste of the South. I’m sharing the recipe with you today because it was fabulous, and because strawberry season is upon us! If you need a reason, this is the perfect one to buy strawberries!

Strawberry Layer Cake

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 cups cake flour
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 cups sliced fresh strawberries, divided
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Strawberry Frosting (recipe follows)
  • 4 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar, divided
  • Garnish: fresh strawberries

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350°. Spray 2 (8-inch) round, tall-sided cake pans with baking spray with flour; line bottom of pans with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, beat butter and granulated sugar with a mixer at medium speed until fluffy, 3 to 4 minutes, stopping to scrape sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  3. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. With mixer on low speed, gradually add flour mixture to butter mixture alternately with milk, beginning and ending with flour mixture, beating just until combined after each addition. Beat in 2 cups strawberries, preserves, and vanilla. Divide batter between prepared pans.
  4. Bake until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let cool in pans for 10 minutes. Remove from pans, and let cool completely on wire racks. Spread about 1½ cups Strawberry Frosting onto one cake layer. Place about 1 cup Strawberry Frosting in a piping bag, and cut tip to create a dime-size opening. Pipe a border around edge of cake layer. Sprinkle frosting with 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar. Layer remaining 2 cups strawberries slices in center of frosting; sprinkle again with remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners’ sugar. Top with second cake layer. Spread remaining Strawberry Frosting on top and sides of cake. Garnish with strawberries, if desired.

Strawberry Frosting 
Makes about 4 cups
Ingredients

  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 pounds confectioners’ sugar
  • 5 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
  • ½ cup strawberry preserves or jam

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, beat butter with a mixer at medium speed until creamy. Gradually add confectioners’ sugar alternately with cream, beating until combined. Increase mixer speed to high. Add preserves, and beat for 1 minute.

This made a wonderful celebration cake, but you don’t need to wait for a special occasion to make it – especially if you love strawberries!

Are you a strawberry fan like I am?

Celebrations · Family life · Marriage

The Best Anniversary Celebration

Last weekend our sweet daughters planned the most lovely early 40th anniversary celebration for my husband and me! Their gift to us was a family photo session with some great photographers from our area.

Plan A was to go to a park in our area, but the day turned out very wet.
Enter Plan B!
We used our newly decorated family room’s lovely blue wall as our backdrop! It ended up being really great (God’s interruptions always are!). I’ll share just a few of my favorite photos from the day.

Our twin grandsons were so cooperative and full of smiles!
I couldn’t ask for sweeter daughters. They are so dear to me.

This next photo is from our wedding day, June 20, 1981!

Forty years ago! And now…
Current!

Lots of things have changed, but Dale’s fun-loving spirit is not one of them!

After the family poses were all taken, the photographers invited each couple to come outside and stand in the rain under their giant umbrella for some really great rainy day shots! I love this one of Paul and Whitney!

And Alli and Andrew…

Look at the rain droplets!

Here are the “Oldie-weds!”

After a delicious lunch at Carrabba’s, we went to Alli and Andrew’s for dessert, consisting of a scrumptious Strawberry Cake. Whitney decorated for the party in her typical flare. It was so much fun and so pretty!

We can hardly believe we are staring 40 years in the face, but we are so thankful. God has been faithful, spite our old sin natures and imperfect love, He has guided us, provided for us and grown us. We pray that the years we have remaining will find us pointing others to the glorious Gospel where Jesus demonstrated the perfect sacrificial love, forgiveness, mercy, kindness, grace, and submission.

Here’s praise for (almost) 40 years!

Celebrations · Easter · Jesus Changed My Life

We’re Celebrating Easter!

Easter weekend is my FAVORITE weekend in the whole year! It encapsulates the reason I can face tomorrow – Jesus is alive! No matter what we’re facing today – even with all the craziness, confusion, unrest, hatred and division, the truth that Christ arose from the tomb promises us all victory over sin, death and hell!

Because of that, I believe we should celebrate to the hilt!

Let’s magnify Christ!

Let’s share the Good News of eternal life that comes by placing our trust in Jesus alone for salvation!

Here are a few ways I’m celebrating Easter this weekend:

Reading the chapters in John about Jesus’ death and resurrection. I love to read the Scriptures early in the morning and think about the women at the tomb and the joy that filled their hearts to learn that their Savior was alive! Their joy is MY joy!

Resurrection Rolls – This treat is such a fun and delicious way to remind children of the elementary facts of Christ’s resurrection from the tomb. Here’s the idea –
A simple marshmallow is rolled in melted butter, then tossed in cinnamon and sugar, reminiscent of Jesus’ body being covered by spices before He was buried. The crescent roll is wrapped around the marshmallow, reminding us that Jesus body was wrapped in linen cloth. The roll is then placed in a muffin tin, reminding us of the tomb where Jesus was laid.
The pan is then put into the oven to bake, and in about 12 -14 minutes, the baked rolls can be eaten.

When you open the rolls up you find the inside (the tomb) is EMPTY! My grandsons loved this activity!

Resurrection Rolls

Ingredients

  • 8-ounce package refrigerated crescent roll dough
  • 8 regular-sized marshmallows
  • 4 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line 8 wells in a muffin tin with baking cups (for easier clean up) or spray the wells with non-stick cooking spray.

2. Unroll crescent dough and divide into 8 triangles at the perforations

3. Mix sugar and cinnamon together in shallow bowl.

4. Dip marshmallow in melted butter, then in cinnamon and sugar.

5. Place marshmallow in the middle of a crescent roll. Wrap dough tightly around the marshmallow, making sure there are no openings.

6. Place roll in muffin tin. Repeat with the rest of the rolls. Brush rolls with remaining butter and sugar.

7. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes. Cool sightly before serving.

Good Friday Service – Today is Good Friday and my church is having a Good Friday service at 3:00 in the afternoon. I always LOVE these afternoon services! We will be observing the Lord’s Supper, singing, reading Scripture, and being reminded of the sacrifice of Jesus’ death. If you’re in the area, we would love for you to join us. Here is the link to our website where you can find the address at the bottom of the Home Page.

Sunday service – Of course I’ll also be attending Easter service at church on Suinday. Remembering back to last year when we were unable to get together makes me doubly thankful to be able to meet together to worship and praise the Lord with other believers! Again, if you don’t have a church home, we welcome you to attend! Go here to learn the times of the services.

Cake – My family will also get together to enjoy an Easter dinner after church. It will include this traditional Coconut Cake with Lemon Filling! We’re all a little very excited about that!

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If you need something a whole lot simpler for your Easter dessert, here’s a cute little bunny sundae my dad always made for our family every year. Everyone could make their own and add what they like. You could even have a contest to see whose bunny is the “Best dressed!”

All this takes is a scoop of ice cream, some whipped topping, coconut, for whiskers Jelly beans, M&M’s or chocolate chips for his face, and some banana slices for ears.

I pray that your Easter weekend is filled with the joy of the risen Savior! He loves you and died in your place so you could have eternal life in Him. That’s the only thing that will truly refresh you for now and all eternity!

Happy Easter!

Celebrations · refreshing others

Birthdays and Blessings

Last weekend was my husband’s birthday. It wasn’t one of those “monumental” numbers, but I believe every birthday should be the best day in the year for the one who’s celebrating. I asked my husband if we could go away for a couple nights. We had an even greater blessing of a quiet three night get away to a lovely lake cottage about an hour away.

The picture below is my favorite place to sit and have my Quiet Time in the morning. The first morning we woke up to a skiff of snow. How beautiful!

I took very simple foods with me for our meals, but we always say that even a peanut butter sandwich would taste like gourmet food at the lake! Breakfast on his birthday didn’t get pictured, but consisted of Eggs in a Basket with sour dough bread, Canadian Bacon, fresh fruit and coffee.

Even oatmeal with fresh fruit tasted heavenly! The view is always breathtaking.

For Birthday supper I made one of my husband’s favorites – Turkey Burgers. I picked up pretzel rolls that put them over the top! I served oven fries and Broccoli Salad to go along with the burgers.

Dale got triple Birthday desserts spread out over the week. We celebrated with our small group with brownies and ice cream and again with our family later in the weekend.

Then we met up with some special friends at Aubrey’s where they brought him a free Turtle Cake and Ice cream. Yum.

For a Non-monumental birthday, I’d say we did lots of celebrating! We are so grateful to the Lord for every day the Lord gives us and for the blessings from His hands.

What do you do to make birthdays special?

Refresh every day like it was a birthday!