Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Monday's Mention - Cheesecake Factory

A few weeks ago we were able to go out of town for my sister-in-law's college graduation. It was great to see all of my siblings-in-law... except for my camera being broken! Becca wanted to eat at Cheesecake Factory in Pleasanton, so that's where we had a nice family dinner. Although the food was good, and my 7 year old loved it, I was not thrilled with their lack of a kid's menu. It is definitely not a frugal-friendly place to eat. Also, there was an hour wait; this was on a Saturday, but it was only 4 pm, so it wasn't even the dinner rush. Since we were at "Cheesecake Factory" my husband said we had to order cheesecake for dessert. Truly, the portions are so large that you do NOT need dessert - but we ordered, and it came back looking very pretty!

Pretty and delicious ~ very decadent and scrumptious - who knows how many calories we consumed! See the beautiful border on the plate - my husband thought it was painted! :) Does anyone know how to make this? (I've looked online, and found similar ideas, but none for this small of a design)
I set about looking to see if I could figure out how they decorated the plate to look like this (my husband thought it was painted on - silly guy!) I could not find anything online, but I did find a couple of links for plate decorating,some cheesecake recipes recipes, and an impressive looking dessert.

Sour Cream Dreams Ingredients:
HERSHEY'S Chocolate Syrup
Sour cream
Directions:1. Start by making a round pool of HERSHEY'S Chocolate Syrup in the middle of the plate. 2. Then, pipe on two thin, concentric circles of sour cream. 3. With a toothpick or the tip of a knife, draw in a circular motion around the edges of each to create a swirled paisley effect.

Coral Snake Ingredients:
HERSHEY'S Chocolate Syrup
HERSHEY'S Strawberry Syrup
Mango puree
Directions:1. Alternate drops of each ingredient around the edge of the plate. If you overlap the edges of each drop, you'll have a single three-color band of sauce that looks like a coral snake.

Chocolate Strawberry Drizzle Ingredients:
HERSHEY'S Chocolate Syrup
HERSHEY'S Strawberry Syrup
Directions:1. Take a plate, place it on a spinnable surface, and spin it while drizzling HERSHEY'S Chocolate Syrup to create a spiral effect.2. Finish with droplets of HERSHEY'S Strawberry Syrup.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Memorial Day Weekend

What a wonderful church service we had yesterday morning! We always have great church, but I loved the patriotic slant of this morning's service. We started out with a couple of worship songs, followed by several patriotic songs, and then the kid's choir singing"It's a Grand Old Flag." We also presented two more flag certificates. It's become an annual tradition that started three years ago. We have a large flag for each veteran in our church, and yesterday two additional flags were presented: one to one of the elder ladies in our church, in honor of her late husband's service, and one to our guest speaker, Bro. Ron Krantz, from Oroville, CA. (To learn more about ordering a flag that's been flown over the U.S. Capitol, see the bottom of this post.)

We also watched a special presentation that our pastor's son Tyler put together to honor our church veterans and members of our armed forces. I told him that he needs to put his presentation on YouTube or his blog so that I can share it with my blog readers. :) The video in my last post to the song "I Still Believe in America" was create by Tyler as well. He hasn't posted in a while, but his last blog post is very appropriate for this weekend. You can view it by clicking here.

Bro. Krantz' message was regarding the "Importance of the Rank and File in Pentecost Today." Too many times the average saint will sit in the church pews and leave all of the soul-winning to the pastor. He reminded us that the world doesn't need more preachers, what the world needs is for the "rank and file" to show the love and grace of Jesus Christ. Have you ever asked yourself "how can I win someone to Christ" and wanted a practical answer? How about by baking cookies and taking them to your neighbor, letting them know that if they ever have a need to call you, and then stopping by their house 3-4 days later and asking them if they have a need yet? This is not crazy! We need to show the love and grace of Christ to others, and they will eventually ask you why you have peace in the midst of the storm and where you turn in times of difficulty. At that time, you can share of the grace God applied to your life.

Here are a few pics of the service. Thanks again to all those who have given their lives for our freedoms. The fallen heroes deserve to be honored and remembered every day, but especially on Memorial Day! God Bless America!

Kids' choir led by our pastor's daughter, Sis. Kadee

Bro. Krantz & family in front of the flag bearing his name and service

The embroidery on the side of the flag - E.R. Krantz, U.S. Army

Family Pic - Shauna in the "stars," Staci in the "stripes," Matthew is wearing a red with white striped tie, and me in my "Memorial Day outfit."

Anyone can purchase a U.S. Flag that has flown over the United States Capitol building in Washington D.C. This can be accomplished writing a letter to your Senator with your request. Their address can be obtained by calling your local Public Library and asking for it or use the Senators of the 109th Congress web site to locate contact information for your Senator.You may request that your flag be flown on a certain date such as a birthday or anniversary. Be sure to mail in your request at least 4 weeks prior to the date you have selected. Your flag will be mailed to you and arrive 3-4 weeks after the date you have specified (Since September 11th, 2001 it may take longer to receive your flag). Enclosed with your flag will be a Certificate from The Architect Of The Capitol certifying that your flag was flown as requested. If you mention in your letter that this flag is for any specific occasion, that information will be included on the certificate. In addition, you can also order flags from your U.S. Representatives. (For CA, google Dan Lungren's official site, and then click on Constituent Services)

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ I Love America!

As the Memorial Day weekend is upon us, my patriotic feelings are stirring more and more. I'm so thankful that I was blessed to be born and live in the United States of America. I know that a lot of things have changed in the 200+ years since this nation was founded... but I still believe in America! May we remember the sacrifices that have been made by our forefathers and our service men and women to keep us free. God Bless America and God Bless Our Troops. Pray for our President and our country!

I love this video - it's of a quartet called freeWAY - my pastor's son Tyler, is the lead singer on this video... I think they do a great job with the song!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Do You Have A "Yes" Face?

Do you have a "yes face"?

I am posting an excerpt from this Family Life article.

Charles Swindoll tells a story reported by Dr. Karl Menninger about the importance of "yes faces":

During his days as president, Thomas Jefferson and a group of companions were traveling across the country on horseback. They came to a river which had left its banks because of a recent downpour. The swollen river had washed the bridge away. Each rider was forced to ford the river on horseback, fighting for his life against the rapid currents. The very real possibility of death threatened each rider, which caused a traveler who was not part of their group to step aside and watch. After several had plunged in and made it to the other side, the stranger asked President Jefferson if he would ferry him across the river. The president agreed without hesitation. The man climbed on, and shortly thereafter the two of them made it safely to the other side. As the stranger slid off the back of the saddle onto dry ground, one in the group asked him, "Tell me, why did you select the president to ask this favor of?" The man was shocked, admitting he had no idea it was the president who had helped him. "All I know," he said, "is that on some of your faces was written the answer 'No,' and on some of them was the answer 'yes.' His was a 'Yes' face."

Do you have the kind of yes face that makes your kids feel comfortable asking? Does your yes face say, "It's okay to make mistakes; I'll still love you"? Do they feel as if you'll really listen to childish requests? Do they believe they're important enough that you'll react to their needs with flexibility?

This was part of question #5 in Linda Weber's "What Makes An Incredible Mom" article.
1. Am I creating a positive environment?
2. Am I creating an environment that's motivational?
3. Am I creating an environment where we really communicate?
4. Am I creating an environment that's safe?
5. Am I creating an environment that's gracious?

To read more of this excerpted article, and about the five points of being an incredible mom, click here.

Excerpted from Mom, You're Incredible! by Linda Weber. Used by permission of Broadman and Holman Publishers, copyright © 1999 by Linda Weber. All rights to this material are reserved.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Thankful Thursday ~ I Love My Mom!

I know I should have posted this last week, BEFORE Mother's Day... better late than never, right? :) I am so thankful for my mom ~ she is a helper, supporter, confidante, and friend. My mom raised my sister and I by herself with NO family help whatsoever. She says this is one of the reasons why she helps my husband and I so much with our girls... because she knows how it is without help, and doesn't want me to do the same. Most of all, I'm thankful that my mom is a godly woman, and brought us up in the church. Mom was not born into a religious or church-going family; to this day, she is the only sibling we're aware of who even attends church. I'm so glad that Jesus found her and that I was saved in the process!

Thank you, Sis. Connie, for not giving up on my mom when you asked her if she wanted a Bible study. Thank you, Bro. & Sis. Wrinkle, for giving her that Bible study. Thank you, Jesus, for turning on the light bulb in my mom's head when she received the Bible study. Thank you, Bro. & Sis. Geurin, for being our first Apostolic pastor. Thank you, Bro. & Sis. Wrinkle, for your leading after Bro. Geurin passed, and thank you, Pastor & Sister Sullivan, for being our current pastor and continuing to lead us in the paths of righteousness!

Thank you, Mom, for everything you are and everything you've been to me in my life. I do not have the gift of words, but hope this post shows you just a little bit how much I love you and how thankful I am that God let you be my mom. You are the best friend I've had throughout the years. I Love You!!! XOXOXO,
Rhonda Ann

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Monday, May 11, 2009

Mother's Day Freebies continue ~ $14.70 of free homeschool curriculum TODAY only

I recently stumbled upon this site while looking for Mother's Day freebies. Although I do not homeschool my children, as they are in a fabulously awesome Christian private school, I do like to find them educational fun activities. This site is great! And, you can check back tomorrow for 4 new free downloads; there may even be two or three days left! :) You will need to create a free account to access the downloads, but it's totally worth it!

Click here to download today's freebies, which include:

Simple Rhymes for Little Children Coloring Book - Regular price $1.25 - FREE download TODAY only

My Book of Continents - Regular Price: $4.95 - FREE download TODAY only

Psalm 16 Copywork Notebook - Regular Price: $5.00 - FREE Download TODAY only

Silly Snail: Parts of Speech Game - Regular Price: $3.50 - FREE Download TODAY only

Friday, May 8, 2009

Friday Funny ~ Fax Hint

As a professor at the Air Force Institute of Technology, I taught a series of popular courses on software engineering. The program was highly competitive and difficult to get into, but one student made our decision whether to accept him quite simple.

When asked to fax over his college transcript, the student told me, "Well, I would, but it's the only copy I have."