Being a mom is the hardest thing I've ever done, but it has brought me so much joy! I want to encourage other moms on their journey, I'll share motherhood tricks, spotlight tips I've learned from friends, and I hope you will share your ideas. I will focus on secrets that help families stay balanced, healthy, frugal, creative, and closely knit. I will also share favorite fiction and nonfiction books that I have enjoyed. Many blessings to you on your mothering journey!

Friday, October 31, 2008

Waiting Games

I just discovered a great post titled, "13 Ways to Pass the Time While Waiting with your Family at a Restaurant". Katey has lots of clever ideas for young children (and adults!!). Some of the ideas are also great for road trips and some are great for teaching the skill of creative thinking. If you home school, some of her 'imagine if' games are also good for writing prompts. So pick and choose your favorites to store away for future use.


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Vote, Speak Up, and Pray

I don't want this to become a political blog, so I won't even mention any names in this post. But I wanted to remind you (and your family) to be a responsible citizen this week.

VOTE - go vote early, so you can take your kids with you to the polls. Tell them what you're doing, why it's important, why it's a privilege, and why you've chosen your candidates. This is a great educational opportunity for them in regards to character and responsibility. Then get a sticker for everyone and wear it proudly.

SPEAK UP - know why you support your candidate (BEYOND their party connection!), and educate people around you on the issues. Remind them to make time to go vote. Let them know where they can vote early, and offer a ride if they need it.

PRAY - I like the way my uncle Cliff wrote it in an email today, "Pray for God’s divine will to be done and accepted by our country. Please also pray for healing for the deep divisions that are hurting us as Americans at this time. We need healing! Pray for whatever God has placed on your hearts regarding this election."

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Fireproof and Love Dare

I've heard great things about Fireproof, but we haven't seen it. A few ladies in my Bible study are reading the companion guide to Fireproof. They really like the questions they ask spouses to discuss, and they highly recommend it.

So if you, your neighbors, or your colleagues have enjoyed the movie, you might want to look at the book too. A strong marriage is definitely a helpful part of being a great mommy!

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Halloween Tips

My friend Susan just wrote two great newsletter articles for Halloween.
  • Halloween tips for Parents
  • Halloween tips for Neighbors
I'd love to share them with you, but I can't post PDF files on blogger. If you'd like me to send them to you, just leave a comment below or email me at mommysecretsblog(at)gmail(dot)com.


Monday, October 27, 2008

A New Nashville Treasure

Nashville has a new bookstore called Fairytales in east Nashville. Their tagline is "Where Stories Come Alive". I visited their store for the first time last week, and I was thrilled.

It's a bright and colorful store that inspires creativity and imagination - a love for discovery. They sell books for children, teens, and caregivers - and they'll special order anything they don't already have in stock. They sell interactive toys such as paints, costumes, puzzles, word magnets, and puppets. They also sell beautiful hand-crafted jewelry.

They also host tons of special events. They have storytimes after school each day, and a special Saturday storytime. They do special crafts and activities at every storytime, so you and your child will have a great time creating together. They also have jewelry making classes, book clubs, workshops, and mom's groups. They have a cozy little room in the back that they rent out for groups and classes.

So if you're in Nashville, stop by this magical little store on the east side of town.

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Neighborhood Tea Party

I smiled when I saw Lindsey's post at Passionate Homemaking. She's getting ready for an Autumn Ladies Tea - another great idea for neighborhood gatherings.

She shares about her philosophy of hospitality, some great resources for practicing hospitality, and some really yummy recipes.

Lindsey writes a very inspirational blog. She updates it regularly, sharing practical ideas for being a woman like God - loving, serving, encouraging, and engaging people in her life.

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

How to Host a Great Neighborhood Party

We had a great time hosting our neighborhood pumpkin carving and chili party Friday night. We had almost 50 people join us from all different parts of the neighborhood. The kids ran around like crazy, having a great time, while the adults sampled four different kinds of chili. Then we went outside to carve pumpkins together.

We believe that it's important to build and nurture a sense of community in our neighborhood. It creates safer community, where people care about one another. It creates a more joyful neighborhood, where people greet one another and actually talk to one another. And it's just fun!

It's easy to host a neighborhood gathering. You don't need lots of money, or a big house, or the best backyard in the neighborhood. You just need to plan ahead and ask for help!

Tips for planning an easy get-together
  1. Outdoor parties are almost always easier, so use your patio or driveway if the weather permits. Some neighborhoods will even let you block off a street, if you want to involve the whole neighborhood.
  2. Collect email addresses as you meet people. I keep the addresses in a word document along with the family names and ph#s. I also keep a neighborhood contact list on my email account.
  3. Use evite as your primary invitation source. I know it's not fancy, but it's so easy to use! You can use it to track party #s and party supplies (see #4)
  4. Host a potluck style event. Make a list of everything you need for the party (food, drinks, paper products...) and split them up into equal 'portions'. Use evite's 'ask guests to bring something' feature to invite your neighbors to pitch in. Most people want to bring something to help, so they'll be glad to help out.
  5. Print out some paper invitations to include new neighbors that you haven't yet met or neighbors that don't utilize email.
  6. Ask 1-2 friends to come early to help you do last minute preparations and stimluate conversations among the guests. New neighbors might be very shy, so you might have to initiate conversations until they are comfortable.
  7. Use nametags, so people can see and hear names - they'll be more likely to remember them!
  8. Have a sign-up list for people to share their contact info.
  9. If you're having fun, mention the possibility of getting neighbors together again. If someone is especially enthusiastic about hosting another event, invite them to help with the planning. I think our neighborhood gals are going to start a bi-monthly Bunco night!
  10. Be flexible - it's going to be messy and a little crazy. But it will be a lot of fun, and it's totally worth the effort!

Easy party ideas:
  • Superbowl Soup & Salads
  • Valentine's Day cookie swap
  • St. Patrick's Day Irish get together (green foods)
  • Memorial Day family softball game and picnic at a local park (thanks for the idea Mary & Stu!)
  • July 4th bike parade and cookout
  • Back porch watermelon & popsicle parties (thanks for the idea Ginger & Chan!)
  • Back to school party (thanks for the idea Heather)
  • Pumpkin carving party
  • Christmas crafts party (for adults or kids)
  • Christmas caroling and cider party

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Friday, October 24, 2008

Morning Reflections

Psalm 139
1 O LORD, you have searched me
and you know me.
You know everything about me – my joys and fears, my strengths and weaknesses, my thoughts and concerns.
2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You pay attention to me, and your cognizant of my worlds (even though you are such a mighty God)
3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
You know all my patterns, habits and rituals. You understand the way I’m wired.
4 Before a word is on my tongue
you know it completely, O LORD.
You know my thoughts even better than I do. And you know the thoughts I don’t even understand or realize.
5 You hem me in—behind and before;
you have laid your hand upon me.
You complete me. You guard me. You lead me. You polish and change me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.
How could you care so much for us?
7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, [a] you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.
I can’t outrun you. I can’t hide from you. I can’t just disappear off your radar screen. I’m your child, and you will love me and be with me always. You will hold me gently and carefully, guarding me from harm.
11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"
12 even the darkness will not be dark to you;
the night will shine like the day, for darkness is as light to you.
Even when life feels really dark and frightening, yet you promise to be there with me, to give me hope and peace in the midst of my suffering. No matter how dark I feel, you can still see clearly and you will guide me safely.
13 For you created my inmost being;
you knit me together in my mother's womb.
You made me just the way I am.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.
I know that you will use my strengths and weaknesses to glorify yourself, because you make all things beautiful.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,
16 your eyes saw my unformed body.
All the days ordained for me
were written in your book before one of them came to be.
You have good plans for me & you are preparing me for those works.
Even the dark times are in my life for a purpose.
17 How precious to [b] me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
You amaze me, dear God.
18 Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.
When I awake,
I am still with you.
I am still with you – all the time, even when I feel drowned in the frustrations of life. Even when I feel all alone. You are there.
23 Search me, O God, and know my heart;
test me and know my anxious thoughts.
24 See if there is any offensive way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting.

My heart is open, I’m waiting for you to speak. Help me see clearly. Show me what I need to change in my life. Give me wisdom, clarity and courage. Heal me and strengthen me. Hold me in your arms and make me whole again.

Thank you for your unfailing love.

Your little girl


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Thoughtful Family Project

My friends Mary & Lauren have been doing a thoughtful family project to help people that are homeless. They help their children decorate lunch bags with cheerful pictures, then they fill the bags with nonperishable snacks like granola bars, raisins, peanut butter crackers, pretzels, juice boxes... When they drive past a homeless person asking for money, they share one of their bags of goodies.

This would also be an easy project to do with a class or afterschool club, and you can engage children ages 2-22. It's a safe and simple way to help people in need. It teaches your children to recognize people that are in need, and find ways to help. It encourages your children to be creative. It helps families combat the me-me-me attitude that creeps up on all of us.

Research says that there are 40 developmental assets (building blocks) that all kids need to succeed. This project helps to build at least 10 of those assets:

*Adult role models. Parent(s) and other adults model positive, responsible behavior.
*Caring. Young person places high value on helping other people.
*Creative activities. Young person spends three or more hours per week in lessons or practice in music, theatre, or other arts.
*Cultural competence. Young person has knowledge of and comfort with people of different cultural/racial/ethnic backgrounds.
*Equality and social justice. Young person places high value on promoting equality and reducing hunger and poverty.
*Interpersonal competence. Young person has empathy, sensitivity, and friendship skills.
*Planning and decision making. Young person knows how to plan ahead and make choices.
*Responsibility. Young person accepts and takes personal responsibility.
*Service to others. Young person feels safe at home, school, and in the neighborhood.
*Youth as resources. Young people are given useful roles in the community.

I'd love to hear about simple ways you've seen children help people in need! You can email me at ann(at)theassetedge(dot)net or simply leave a comment below.

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Treasuring God in our traditions

I just finished reading Noel Piper's book, Treasuring God in our Traditions. I pushed myself through the first 30 pages, but after that I took a lot of notes.

We are always teaching our children, whether we mean to or not. Our children come to believe that whatever is repeated regularly has significance. [Our brains learn through repetition – that's why God told us to] "Talk of [God's words] when you are sitting in your house, and when you are walking by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise." (Deut 11:19) (p34-35)

We are training our children both intentionally and unintentionally. We need to make sure we aren't leaving the important things to happenstance. We know it's crucial that they become familiar with God, our Heirloom and our only hope for real life. We yearn for them to love and trust and follow Christ. It would be foolish just to wait for them to learn that by chance. We must plan to reflect God and teach about Christ in the repeated events of life. (p37)

The specific 'truth jewels' we lay in our children's hands will, we pray, be stored in their heart's treasure chests; and the gems will be protectively surrounded by packing material, the wad of impressions, feelings, and assumptions they've picked up, both consciously and unconsciously, of who God is and what it means to be a family. The factory for that packing material is our everyday lives. Our 'everyday' traditions are the purposeful, significant activities that we do most frequently and regularly, the things that give shape to a day and a week… We are packing our children's hearts with unspoken understandings about life. (p38)

The rest of the book is full of practical ideas to implement traditions in your family. She talks about daily traditions and holiday traditions - all aiming towards pointing people to Christ. It's a good read, and I bet you would take lots of notes about traditions to carry out in your home - and why traditions are so important.

You can check it out at the library or order a copy from for $10. Or read it online:

Chapters 1-4 (24.8MB PDF)
Chapters 5-8 (36.2MB PDF)
Chapters 9-10 and Appendix (24.6MB PDF)

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Sunday, October 19, 2008

New CD for your Collection

Our family went with friends to a little tiny coffee shop called Cafe Ameno last night, where we thoroughly enjoyed music by Jamie Reid, Jeff Durham and a guitarist. The adults relaxed to the melodies as we sipped yummy coffees and ate paninis. The kids were lulled for awhile, then they danced outside the open doors to the music. It was so much fun!

I wanted to share the music of Jamie Reid with you. He plays tenor sax, and his music is just as good (if not better!) than Kenny G's music. We bought his CD of Instrumental Hymns and decided that it's perfect background music for dinner or relaxing in the evening. The music is soothing and peaceful, and they call to mind the lyrics of the hymns you probably grew up singing. You can sample the music at the link above, and see more on his website here.


Saturday, October 18, 2008

Jukebox Games at the Diner

My friend Mary & I took our kids on a spontaneous lunch date today. We went to a great little local diner called Strattons in Ashland City. Because it was spontaneous, we didn't have anything to entertain our 5 children under 6 years old. So we invented a game.

After the children finished pushing buttons on the mock jukebox, we used the letters (A-K) to play a game. We took turns around the circle, as I asked each child to pick the letter that started a word. After I said 'hat', they said 'h' and pushed the 'h' button on the jukebox. One of the boys (age 3) is just learning his letters, so we focused on words that started with the same letter as his name (it's easier for a child to hear words that start with the same letter of their name, because their name is one of the first words they learn to spell).

Then we switched to another word game. The youngest boy pushed a letter in the alphabet, and the other 3 boys thought of words that started with the same letter. Then we proceeded down the alphabet to the last letter on the jukebox.

My baby (age 2) just sipped water in her straw (a big thrill for her!)

Then our hamburgers and curly fries finally arrived, and they were wonderful. Well, not quite as wonderful as the hot fudge milkshakes!!

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Friday, October 17, 2008

Everything Halloween and More

I love reading the Crafty Crow's fun arts & crafts ideas each day, but she has OUTDONE herself with Halloween ideas this week. Within each of these topical posts, she has 8-12 really clever ideas! If you love the Halloween spirit or if you are hosting a Halloween party, check these out!


Kids, Creativity and Costumes

Kelly Curtis just wrote a great post about halloween costumes at Blissfully Domestic. She includes lots of SUPER SIMPLE ideas for costumes, but she also writes ab0ut viewing the costume frenzy through a different lens. It's NOT about having the perfect Martha Stewart costume. It's about encouraging kids to be creative and have fun. We can definitely do that withOUT spending $50 on a costume!

Kelly is also an author - she wrote a very practical book for youth workers, pastors and families called Empowering Youth: How to Encourage Young Leaders to Do Great Things. She also blogs regularly at Pass the Torch.

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Thursday, October 16, 2008

Yummy Side Dish - Asian Salad

I love this yummy asian salad made with ramen noodles, nuts and shredded cabbage. I took some to share with my neighbor last week, and the husband has asked me for the recipe twice! I clipped it to share with them today, so I wanted to share it with you too.

The first time I made it, I shredded the cabbage, but since then I've opted to buy the coleslaw mix. It saves TONS of time!!

Put this on your list to take to your next potluck dinner - your friends will love it too!


I copied this link 3 months ago, but I never shared it with you. It's a list of 100 things to do together over the weekend - spending zero cash!

On our list this weekend:
  • Play board games - with and without kids!
  • Bake a loaf of homemade bread - a new friend just gave me some friendship bread starter!
  • Meet your neighbors - we've been going door-to-door inviting neighbors to a pumpkin carving party. :)
  • Play football / soccer - my sons have been playing sports with the neighbors a lot this week.
  • Do some networking - I've been reconnecting with friends & colleagues, announcing our new book.
  • Build some paper airplanes - with family friends coming to stay with us this weekend, the 4 boys in the house will love making and flying airplanes!

And they have 94 more ideas for you and your family to do together this weekend!

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Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Poor Man's Pecan Pie

My DH is a Physical Therapist, so he's always meeting people with cool stories and cool recipes. Last month he brought home this "Poor Man's Pecan Pie" recipe after enjoying the decadent dessert at his office. We made it for our community group, and we loved it.

It's called the Poor Man's Pecan Pie, because it doesn't have any pecans in it. But it tastes like it does!! It's a great conversation starter at a party!

2/3 c sugar
2/3 c softened butter
2/3 c minute oats
2/3 c dark karo syrup
2 eggs beaten
1 t vanilla
pie crust

mix all ingredients together and bake 30-38 minutes at 350 degrees
let it cool, then enjoy with friends


Friday, October 10, 2008

Print Summer Pictures this weekend!

Snapfish is running a print sale today and tomorrow.
You can buy 50 4x6 prints for only a penny each!
Additional 4x6 prints are 9¢ each - still a pretty good deal.
Go to and use coupon code FALLPENNY08 at checkout.


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Saving Time in the Kitchen - great tips from Frugal Upstate!

Jenn at Frugal Upstate just published a great article about saving time in the kitchen - she actually titled the article "Avoiding the Take-Out Trap". I follow many of her suggestions, but I never thought about creating a list of all the different meals I could create with a few prepared meats. I love this list! Here are some of our favorites that I pulled from Jenn's list. Visit the link for about 40 great ideas!

Ground Beef
Pot Pie/Shepherds Pie: Mix with can of mixed veggies, white sauce or cream of soup. Cook in casserole dish with either boxed mashed potatoes or biscuits on top

Tacos/Burritos: Add the spice mix and serve either on burrito wraps or in taco shells
Sloppy Joes: Use your favorite recipe.

Chicken soup: Broth, veggies, chicken, rice or noodles
Stirfry: Mix with a bag of frozen stirfry veggies and some soy sauce, serve with rice

Meatballs - I need to try these for my family!
Meatball Subs: Add to spaghetti sauce, serve on a roll with cheese

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Tuesday, October 07, 2008

The Art Station

Our kitchen island is transformed into an art station during many days of the week. My kiddos love to pull out construction paper, stamps, markers, crayons, glue, paint and whatever they can get their hands on to create.

According to the Search Institute, who has done extensive research on what kids need to succeed, Creative Activities is the least reported developmental asset out of a list of 40 basic building blocks that children need.. Only 17% of young people spend three or more hours a week involved in creative activities.

So my family believes in creating! This week, we've been making birthday cards for lots of October birthdays. We've been cutting pictures from recycled cards and coloring books to glue on our homemade cards. My 3yr old son made the birthday cake with candles on the left, and my 2yr old daughter is very excited her pasting in the photo on the right.

As long as you can tolerate a temporary mess, you can easily create your own art station to nurture the creative minds in your home. Keep a tupperware container or a cabinet full of age appropriate supplies, and pull them out while you're making dinner or cleaning in the kitchen.

Easy Fall Ideas:
  • Make pumpkins to hang around the house. You can trace the shape for younger children and let them color in the pictures.
  • Make leaf people
  • Decorate Boo signs and cannisters for your neighbors.
  • Make Ghosts for your front porch.
My favorite sites for creative inspiration:

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Welcoming Guests into Our Homes

We love hosting overnight guests in our home. Since moving further out into the country, we have a simple guest bedroom, and we love filling it with friends for multiple days.

I just read a really practical post from Simple Mom about Hosting Overnight Guests: 10 Easy Tips To Help Your Visitors Feel Welcome. It's a great list of easy ways you can welcome your guests.


Friday, October 03, 2008

Building Community - Authentic Community

I just read a great post on Frugal Hacks about being a good neighbor. It has journal entries from the Deputy Handmistress' great grandmother, as well as reflections on what it means to invest in friendships that will build a sense of community during hard times. It's an outstanding read.

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Thursday, October 02, 2008

More Cakes than you can Imagine!

My DH just sent me an email with a list of links to at least 100 cakes recipes. I have no idea who wrote the email originally, but someone put a lot of work into this. Hats off to the anonymous researcher!! Pick out your favorite cakes & bake away!

"Night Before Christmas" Coffee Cake
"Real New York Style" Cheesecake Supreme
"Special" frosting for the Red Velvet Cake
Amaretto Italian Sour Cream Cake
Amazing Tropical Fruit Cake
Apple and Nut Cake
Apple Cake
Apple Cake
Apple Cake
Apple Cider Cheesecake
Applesauce Cake
Applesauce Cake
Applesauce Fruitcake
Apricot Nectar Pound Cake
Aunt Jennie's Plain Cake
Becky's Pumpkin Cupcakes
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
Cheesecake Bars
Cherry Cake
Cherry Cake Sauce
Cherry Cheesecake Cups
Cherry Loaf
Cherry-Pineapple Dump Cake
Chocolate Angel Food
Chocolate Brownies
Chocolate Browny Cake
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Chip Muffins
Chocolate Cookie Sheet Cake
Chocolate Éclair Cake
Chocolate Fridgecake
Chocolate Ice Box Dessert
Chocolate Logs
Chocolate Sheet Cake
Chocolate Supreme
Chocolate Surprise
Chocolate Welington Fudge Pudding
Chocolate, Chocolate, Chocolate Chip Cake
Christmas Blondies
Christmas Cake
Christmas Chocolate Cake
Christmas Mixed Glace Fruit Loaf
Christmas-Comes-But-Once-A-Year-Chocolate Cake
Cinnamon Morning Delight
Classic Yellow Cake
Coca-Cola Cake
Coconut Buns
Coconut Cake
Cookie Pizza
Cranberry Coffeecake
Cream Cheese Icing
Cream Cheese Pound Cake
Cream Puff Cake
Creamy Chocolate Cupcakes
Creamy Chocolate Layered Cake
Creamy Rich Chocolate Cake
Cup Cake Faces
Decadent Chocolate Cake
Decadent Fudge Cake
Deluxe Chocolate Marshmallow Bars
Dream Cake
Dreamcicle Cake
Dreamsicle Swirl Cheesecake
Drizzle Cake
Dump Cake
Earthquake Cake
Easy Chocolate Chip Cake
Easy Cocoa Snack Cake
Easy Coconut Cake
Éclair Cake
Edie Ching's Cherry Cheesecake
Eggnog Cake
Extra Moist Coconut Cakes
Festive Pumpkin Gingerbread
Five- Star Browmnies
Flower Garden Cake
Fluffy Pumpkin Cheesecake
Fresh Apple Cake
Fruit Cake
Fruit Cocktail Cake
German Chocolate Upside-Down Cake
Golden Bacardi Rum Cake
Gooey Butter Cake
Gooey Chocolate Brownies
Grandma's Famous Cheesecake
Gum Drop Cake
Heavenly Dream Cake
Heavenly Pecan Cake
Hedge Hog Cake
Holiday Cake
Holiday Poke Cake
Holiday Pumpkin Cake
Holiday Rum Cake
Honey Bun Cake
Honey Cake
Hot Fudge Pudding Cake
Hummingbird Cake
Ice-Cream Chocolate Roll
Jewish Apple Cake
Johnny Appleseed Cake
Kitty Litter Cake
Lemon Blueberry Coffee Cake
Lemon Cake
Lemon Poppyseed Cakes
Lemon Pound Cake
Lemon Pudding Cake
Linda's Yule Log
Low-Fat Cheesecake Squares
Mama's Homemade Banana Cake
Mandy's Cake
Mango Delight
Microwave Scottish Pudding
Mini Cheesecake Bites
Mini Fruitcakes
Miniature Cheesecakes
Mississippi Fudge Cake
Mississippi Mud
Mock Lemon Meringue Cake
Neiman Marcus Cake
No Bake Fruit Cake
Norwegian Gold Cake
Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cake
Old Fashion Pound Cake
Old Fashioned Light Fruitcake
Old-fashioned Gingerbread
Orange Date-Nut Cake
Orange Slice Cake
Oreo Cheesecake
Patti's Perfect Red Velvet Cheesecake
Peach Dumpcake
Peanut Butter Pound Cake
Peanut-Topped Devil's Food
Pecan Icing
Pennsylvania Dutch Pastry
Peppermint Cake
Pineapple Heaven
Pineapple Upside-Down Cake
Plum-Nut Cake
Pound Cake Pound Cake
Pull Apart Biscuit Cake
Pumpkin Cake Roll
Pumpkin Cheesecake
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Pumpkin Dump Cake
Pumpkin log
Pumpkin Nut Roll
Pumpkin Pie Cake
Pumpkin Roll
Pumpkin Roll
Queen's Cake
Quickmix Fruit Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Red Velvet Cake
Reese`s White Cake
Reese's Brownie Cupcakes
Refrigerator Chocolate Cheesecake
Rich Dark Ginger Cake
Russian Tea Cakes
Russian Teacakes
Santa's Breakfast Cake
Self-Filled Cupcakes
Shirley's Chocolate Sheet Cake
Sour Cream Coffee Cake
Sour Cream Pound Cake
Southern Apple Cake
Stawberry Shortcake
Strawberry Delight
Strawberry Delight
Strawberry Shortcake
Super Granny Cake
Swedish Nut Cake
Texas Sheet Cake w/ Frosting
The Most Irresistible Cheesecake Ever
The Perfect Chocolate Cake
Tiny Christmas Fruitcakes
Tiramisu Cheesecake
Toll House Carrot Cake
Topsy Turvey Fruity Tootie Pudding
Triple Chocolate Dessert
Triple Chocolate Torte
Turtle Bars
Turtle Cake
Uncooked Chocolate Crisp Cake
Watergate Cake
White Christmas Loaf
World War I Cake
X-mas Fruit Cake Delight

Happy Baking!

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A Thousand Cookie Recipes

If you're searching for a good cookie recipe, look at this mega list of yummy cookies! Just click on the cookie title and you will link to the recipe.

Here are some that sound great to me:

Amish Sugar Cookies
Andies Candies Cookies
Elves Quick Fudge Brownies
Emily Dickinson's Gingerbread Cookie Recipe
Triple-Chocolate Chip Cookies


Building Christian Character

My son’s school librarian just shared with me a great book series about building Christian character. Michael P. Waite tells stories in Seussical style with whimsical pictures and great rhymes. Each book has a letter to parents, exhorting them on their journey to raise children with strong character and giving practical ideas for nurturing children. Each book closes with a kid-friendly scripture – easy for young children to memorize. Here is a sampling of his great books:

My son’s school librarian just shared with me a great book series about building Christian character. Michael P. Waite tells stories in Seussical style with whimsical pictures and great rhymes. Each book has a letter to parents, exhorting them on their journey to raise children with strong character and giving practical ideas for nurturing children. Each book closes with a kid-friendly scripture – easy for young children to memorize. Here is a sampling of his great books:

1.Max and the Big Fat Lie: A Book About Telling the Truth
2.Sir Maggie the Mighty: A Book About Obedience
3.Boggin Blizzy and Sleeter the Cheater: A Book About Fairness
4.Handy-Dandy Helpful Hal: A Book About Helpfulness
5.Casey the Greedy Young Cowboy: A Book About Being Thankful
6.Sylvester the Jester: A Book About Accepting Others
7.Buzzle Billy: A Book About Sharing
8.The parable of Shelby the Magnificent: In which the Windy Woods campers learn the biblical value of humility
9.Sammy's Gadget Galaxy: A Book About Patience
10.The Hollyhonk Gardens of Gneedle and Gnibb: A Book About Forgiving
11. Suzy Swoof: A Book About Kindness

I would love to buy this set for my kiddos!

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Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Giving Gifts

It's time to shop for Gramma and Papa again. I love them dearly and I love giving them gifts, but they are sooooooo hard to shop for!

I'm exploring a new idea this year, after seeing the Samaratin's Purse Gift Catalog last year. Instead of cluttering their house with more stuff, I think I'll give a gift in their honor.

Here's a sampling of the gift categories you can choose from at Samaratin's Purse:
I'm sure there are other gift programs like these - I'd love to hear of any reputable programs you know about!

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