I have never made homemade cinnamon rolls...
...until last week!
I was always pretty intimidated, but was convinced by the rave reviews and great instructions on this post by Robyn Stone at Add A Pinch to give it a try! The recipe makes a LOT, but they can be frozen, or shared. :)
Evan is a big cinnamon roll fan, and loved these... Me, too!
I actually ran out of time and made these in two days. After the part where you cut and lay them in the pan, I covered the pan well in plastic wrap and refrigerated overnight. I gave them their second rise the next morning, by letting them sit above a warm toaster oven. Ever tried Saigon cinnamon or creme bouquet flavoring? I'd never heard of these, but after reading different recommendations, I've been using them in my baked goods.
All I can say is "Wow!"
Wish I could share one with you!
Click here for recipe.
Evan and I had an awesome time at the St. Catherine's Patron of the Arts 19th Annual Photography, Art & Poetry Exhibition this past weekend! The multi-faceted and multi-dimensional show featured over 700 pieces of art of all kinds (and all ages), including oil and acrylic paintings, watercolors, pastels, mixed media, sculpture, as well as photography, poetry, live musical performances, and fantastic refreshments. It was one of the most enjoyable and best-quality shows I've ever had the pleasure to be a part of.
To make it more fun, the show offered 1st, 2nd, 3rd place and Judges Choice Awards in various categories. The prospectus said winners would be notified by email the Friday before the show. I was hoping to hear something, but the Friday came and went and I assumed the awards went to other people. Evan and I were both disappointed, but we went to the show excited and expecting to have a good time.
As we made our way among all the stunning artwork and poems, we discovered that I had won three awards! There wasn't enough time to notify the winners this year, and the surprise left me stunned and floating on a cloud! I won:
Judges Choice Award - Art, Transformation
First Place Art Award - Mixed Media, Aslan
Spirituality Award - Poetry, Your Love Heals Me
Thank you so much to all the judges!! I'm very grateful to Maude Carolan Psych, a fellow member of the North Jersey Christian Writers Group for telling me about the show.
Evan's a big part of my success-- his encouragement, support and feedback are invaluable!
"It's a big world out there, Tater!"
"To love at all is to be vulnerable. Love anything and your heart will be wrung and possibly broken.
If you want to make sure of keeping it intact you must give it to no one, not even an animal.
Wrap it carefully round with hobbies and little luxuries; avoid all entanglements.
Lock it up safe in the casket or coffin of your selfishness.
But in that casket, safe, dark, motionless, airless, it will change. It will not be broken;
it will become unbreakable, impenetrable, irredeemable. To love is to be vulnerable.”
― C.S. Lewis, The Four Loves
Tater's "Food Haus"
Because Hobbs is on a weight-loss diet and Tater's a slower eater, we had to come up with a way for them to eat together without constant monitoring. After watching this video, I came up with this makeshift solution... (Hobbs' food bowl is up on the piano.) Pretty low-budget, but it works! Tater's growing so fast he barely fits in this opening anymore, Lol. Anyway, I'm grateful for the idea!
Friends blessed us with tickets to see "Miracle of Christmas" yesterday at Sight & Sound Theater in Lancaster, PA.
The show was absolutely I N C R E D I B L E ! Stunning drama, choreography, singing, sets and costumes--
all based on scripture! If you have the opportunity to go for ANY of their shows, don't hesitate-- GO!!! :-)
For more info on Sight & Sound Theater, click here.
Jewish Apple Cake
We've been watching this HUGE black and yellow garden spider, a sentry in its web on the bushes outside our door, for days now. Actually-- we've been 'stalking' him. He's sooooo patient as he waits and waits for 'food', even in the dark. He's diligent-- he's hard-core, and we have to admire him. Ev went out after a rain shower yesterday and noticed him in full action, re-creating a part of his web that the rain destroyed. 'You had to be there', but I captured a few minutes of his dancing web-work. It was fascinating to see!! (The 'new' web he built is on the right, that doesn't have any raindrops on it.)
Taken 2:17 pm
I did NOT look directly into the sun to take this shot. I just held the camera up and clicked away, hoping for the best.
Evan says he can see the shadows of the moon in this image.
It was such a unique and awesome experience to be a part of America's solar eclipse yesterday (partial for us here in NJ). We didn't have eclipse glasses, but Evan remembered watching an eclipse as a child using a box with a pinhole. I found directions here, and we made one!
I found the scriptures (below) afterward, and it confirmed the strange excitement and joy I experienced. It was like God's hand was moving the planets around, inviting us to watch--with Him.
It was also amazing to see the clouds floating by on the image reflected in in the box-- we could actually see the 'clouds' moving over the 'sun'-- surreal!
View from out kitchen window • 1:45 pm • There was an odd stillness during the 'celestial dimming' as I came to view it. Like a hush, like God turned the knob down on the dimmer switch. It was soooo cool!!
Ah, Lord God! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.
For by Him all things were created that are in heaven and that are on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or principalities or powers.
All things were created through Him and for Him.
The heavens declare the glory of God;
And the firmament shows His handiwork.
For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky.
Through everything God made, they can clearly see his invisible qualities--
his eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.
Thank you, Heavenly Father, for the phenomenal 'Light Show'--
You are so HUGE and incomparable! Thank you for loving us!
One of my favorite songs!
Evan and I saw this at our church last night.
Beautiful, emotional, life-changing movie -- I highly recommend it!
For another post I did on "The Shack", click here
Everyone loves the Mini Menagerie Petting Zoo in Harrisonburg, VA!
Photos • Poems