Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Woohoo! I Won A Prize!

This morning I received an email from Nancy Malay that I won a prize in TDIPT's Happy Birthday Prize Giveaway! I'll be receiving the sweet little americana elephant pictured above! I love to receive mail, and this will be a fun package to open! Thank you, Nancy!

Thank You, Goode Friend!

My dear friend Stacey of Raven's Haven and The Good Wife of Washington County has awarded me with this "You Make My Day Award"!

Thank you Stacey for giving this to made MY day! I am so thankful to have a kindred spirit such as you...

I truly am blessed to have so many online friends. Now to think of who I can pass this along to....

Friday, March 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Grace!

It's hard to believe our Miss Grace is EIGHT today! Above I've added a little video we took back in 2006 during a visit to the local park...all the world's a stage! (the camera didn't have sound and the video is not of great quality, but it captures the spirit of Grace--especially the good ole armpit fart finale!) Since day one, she's been non-stop action...I always joke that she's never been quiet since she was born! She was colicky for nearly a year, alllllways jibber-jabbering or singing, even talks in her sleep! When she goes out to play, I tell her to keep singing so I know where she is! She is the little girl I've always wanted, even on the days when she's such a "mini-ME"! She's been blessed with a beautiful singing voice and such a compassionate heart. We've been blessed to see her growing and changing...we love you, sweet Grace!

In her early years, Grace always chose VANILLA everything when given a choice, including ice cream. She did not want anything with any "chunks" or texture in it, so she just stuck with her trusty fave--vanilla. It's been fun to see her expanding her repertoire of favorites...especially since this year she's all about CHOCOLATE! She asked for a chocolate cake with chocolate chips, and chose chocolate ice cream to be served with it. We thought you might enjoy the recipe for one of her most recent favorites, Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake. It's in the kitchen cooling on a beautiful pink depression glass cake plate that was a wedding gift.

A dear couple, Dick & Kay Meyers, presented M and I with the beautiful pink cake plate nearly 14 years ago. Kay enclosed the sweetest note telling us the cake plate had been a special one in their depression glass collection. Special, indeed.

Triple Chocolate Fudge Cake

A dense, extra-chocolatey cake that is simple yet elegant. We bake ours in a fancy bundt pan, and don't add the glaze, just a sprinkle of powdered sugar. Nestle a small vase of fresh flowers into the center hole for a beautiful presentation.


* 1 (18.25 ounce) package devil's food cake mix
* 1 (3.9 ounce) package instant chocolate pudding mix
* 1 cup sour cream
* 1 cup milk
* 1/2 cup vegetable oil
* 1/2 cup water
* 4 eggs
* 2 cups semisweet chocolate chips
* 6 tablespoons butter
* 1 cup semisweet chocolate chips


1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease and flour a 10 inch Bundt pan.
2. In a large bowl, combine cake mix, pudding mix, sour cream, milk, oil, water and eggs. Beat for 4 minutes, then mix in 2 cups chocolate chips.
3. Pour batter into prepared pan. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes in the pan, then turn out onto a wire rack and cool completely.
4. To make the glaze: Melt the butter and 1 cup chocolate chips in a double boiler or microwave oven. Stir until smooth and drizzle over cake.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Weary of Winter

It's about this time each year that I am ready to see the first signs of spring. I'm looking forward to hearing the birds singing cheerfully, seeing the grass become green again, the buds on the trees, and the the daffodils poking up.
One of my most anticipated signs of spring....seeing this now ice-covered forsythia bush in full bloom! Soon it will be covered in vibrant sunshine-yellow blooms...

A glimpse of some of the trees in the orchard, glistening with a heavy layer of ice.

If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant;

if we did not sometimes taste of adversity,

prosperity would not be so welcome.

-Anne Dudley Bradstreet