Thursday, October 30, 2014

Friday Faves...Popcorn Cake!

Whether it's Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas, all of the kiddos in your life,
(and the grownups too!), will love this simple salty and sweet treat!
My oldest daughter's mother-in-law introduced us to popcorn cake, 
but I never got her actual recipe, so this is how I do it.

First of all you will need some popcorn!
I'm not a fan of microwave popcorn, but you can definitely use that.
I pop mine on the stove top.
Simply choose a 3 qt. or larger pan with a lid.
Turn the burner on to medium high, which is 7 on my stove.
Drizzle 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in the bottom of the pan and add 1/2 cup popcorn seeds.
Put the lid on the pan, but slightly askew, just enough for the steam to escape but not the corn as it's popping.
As soon as you hear the popcorn stop popping, remove from the heat and put it in a large bowl.
Salt to taste and remove any unpopped seeds.

Wipe out the pan you popped the corn in and put 3 tablespoons butter and 6 cups of marshmallows in the pan.  
Over medium low heat, a 3 on my stove, melt the marshmallows and butter until smooth.
Watch and stir this mixture carefully so it won't scorch.
Once it is all melted add it to 6 cups of the popped corn and add whatever goodies you like.
I used peanut m&ms but I actually prefer regular m&ms and some salty peanuts separate for this.
You could also add candy corn or chopped up snickers bars or other goodies.
Just use your imagination.
(I'm thinking chopped up dried apricots, chopped walnuts, and white chocolate chips would be yummy!)
Amount of popcorn to sweet treat ratio is up to you, a used about a cup of peanut m&ms.
Mix this sticky mixture as best as you can, being careful of the hot melted marshmallows.
I find that clean hands coated with a bit of butter works best, but don't burn yourself!
Now pan spray an 8x8 pan and pat the mixture into the pan.
Let cool completely, then cut and serve.
(You can also shape this into popcorn balls.)

It's almost Friday, friends!
Have a HAPPY, HAPPY Friday
a safe and BLESSED weekend!

Also linking to All Things Heart and Home


TidyMomShabby Art Boutique

Wednesday, October 29, 2014


We hadn't seen each other in way too long.  The issue wasn't distance, I can drive to her house in under two hours. We could easily meet up somewhere in the middle.  We had both simply let life and busy-ness get in the way, and we had let ourselves get a bit lazy about making the effort.  Maybe we had both forgotten that there was something valuable that we were in danger of letting die through neglect.  Maybe all of those reasons are why I never kept in touch with my friends from high school or college.  Ours is the longest friendship I have.  It's been over thirty two years since we first met.  I was the new youth pastor's wife at the church where she was involved in leading worship.  We were both young wives, both young mamas.  We raised our kids together, her two boys and my three girls  were almost like siblings.  Even when we moved away, she would come to see me or I would go to see her.  Our kids, and sometimes husbands, would come along.  Stories of our times together are some of the most common memories our children talk about.

We live in a culture where relationships are expendable, disposable.  It's common practice to walk away from a relationship when conflict arises instead of walking through hard times with each other.  We managed to maintain our relationship through its highs and lows, maybe not in the right way, the talking it all through way.  Our method was more to just let it go, to forgive and forget.

She recently celebrated a milestone birthday.  I texted her early that morning and wished her a happy birthday, then picked a date and said let's meet!  And so we did.  We sat at a Starbucks and caught up on all the news about her family and mine.  We talked about the challenges of aging, about church and answers to prayer, about joys and struggles.  Just like always, it felt as if we just picked up where we had left off, as if it hadn't been such a long time since we'd talked or seen each other.  We walked around the mall and shopped a bit, and I schooled her on why she definitely should branch out and embrace leather booties with her skinny jeans rolled up just to the top of the boot.  She bought the booties in both brown and black and bought two new pair of skinny jeans.  We joked about how her husband will say, "what'd your sidekick talk you into now?" and how she'll boast about how much money she saved because of the sales we found.  We knew he'd respond with, "How much did you have to spend to save that much?"

 Eventually we sat down for a late lunch at a favorite restaurant.  We laughed, we teared up at times, we talked and talked. The day before I had dealt with some disappointment, but somehow just being with my friend who had been with me through so many years of life's ups and downs lifted me out of the funk. 

Our time together reminded me of the value and importance of all of the women in my life.  From my sisters, to my longtime friends, to friends I've just made in recent years, each relationship is a valuable thread in the tapestry of my life.  I need them.  I need the laughter, the tears, the silly conversations and the deep ones, things that can only be shared with someone who really knows you, who really gets you, and who loves you in spite of it all.  I've been diligent to be disciplined in God's Word and prayer, in diet and exercise, all in attempts to finish life strong and well.  I've come to realize this is another important piece of the puzzle.  I must be disciplined to nurture the relationships with my sisters and my friends. I need these relationships. They are just too important to let wither and die from neglect.

still following,


Darling Downs Diaries

USE this for BLOG

at 3-D Lessons for Life

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Cups 'n hooks...

Last Saturday as I was cleaning house and puttering I decided to put some cup hooks under the cabinet
 so I could hang up my Cath Kidston cups.
The "Keep smiling" cup is not a Cath Kidston cup, (it's from Ross!),
 but doesn't it look like it belongs?

I like this simple change and enjoy seeing my cheery cups but also having them up and out of the way.

still following,

Also linking to All Things Heart and Home


TidyMomShabby Art Boutique

Monday, October 27, 2014

Autumn leaves...

(texture-Kim's 1011, hardlight, 100% opacity, PicMonkey's urbane 100%)

There's something to love about every season.
What's not to love about the colors of fall?

(texture-Kim's Monday, hardlight, 50% opacity)

The rainy season has its drawbacks, but it has its benefits too.
What's not to love about cozy candlelight and crackly fires in the fireplace?

 (texture-Kim's wake, hardlight, 50% opacity)

Homemade soups and stews, 
yummy pumpkin recipes,
cozy sweaters and jeans worn with my favorite boots,
more things to love about the fall!

 (texture-Kim's quest, darken, 50% opacity, PicMonkey's rapture 70%)

That we get to set the clock back this coming weekend, 
meaning we gain an hour of sleep instead of losing one like we do in the spring,
is a pretty big plus about autumn.

(texture-Kim's rainy day, multiply mode, 25% opacity)

So, what do you love about this season?

still following,
Kim Klassen {dot com}

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Joyfulness and Gratitude...

I took the scripture above out of context.
In fact, I took just a portion of the actual scripture, 
making it into a command rather than what it really is, a warning.
Deuteronomy 28 is the "blessing vs. cursing" chapter.  
Moses is telling the children of Israel how to live in God's blessing.
Then he warns them against leaving God for other gods.
 and following their own ways instead of God's ways.
He tells them the curses that will result.
One of the behaviors Moses warns against is an ungrateful, joyless attitude.
Here's the complete scripture.
"Because you did not serve the Lord your God with joyfulness of [mind and] heart [in gratitude]
 for the abundance of all [with which He had blessed you]"
Moses then goes on to describe the consequences of this lack of gratitude.
It's a dire list.
I don't think God actually has to send curses when we go our own way instead of His,
I think disaster just naturally follows a life of disobedience.
An ungrateful person, experiences the consequences of being ungrateful,
consequences such as bitterness and joylessness.
So let's turn this warning into an instruction, a command to follow.
Let's serve our great God with a joyful mind and heart.
Let's be filled with gratitude and thankfulness for the abundance of blessings He gives.

Since 2009 I've been counting my blessings thanks to the prompting of Ann Voskamp.
 I continue to count my thanks
piling up gratitude day by day
in my little black journal.
(and capturing some of my blessings via my camera or iPhone)

-homemade bread pan toasted in a wee bit of olive oil, sprinkled with a touch of salt,
and smeared with homemade strawberry jam along with a cup of hot coffee

-oh, how I love Your Word, Lord! So blessed reading through 1st and 2nd Peter again
-no rain on my walk/run today
-all of the beautiful colors of fall

-the Hubs going grocery shopping with me this evening
-dinner together at Chipotle afterwards

-happy mail
-a good walk/run in between rain showers
-cozy candlelight and the first fire in the fireplace this season

-dinner, coloring and watching Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang with our two youngest granddaughters

-the way my youngest grandson searches my eyes when I feed him his bottle
-him napping in Papa's chair
-baking cookies

-record breaking rainfall, but putting on my raincoat and going on my walk/run anyway
-dinner at my daughter's house
-playing Scrabble with the two oldest grands
-snuggling with the hubs and watching my favorite show

-a coffee date with a mentoring friend
-the two oldest grands hanging around the church with us due to early release day at school 

-going across town to a favorite place for Friday date day
-dinner someplace different than our usual favorites
-new shoes with a buy one get one free deal, 
(so I got a pair for oldest granddaughter)

-getting a small start on Christmas shopping with a good sale
-God's presence so real with me in the middle of the mundane of Saturday chores
-listening to some favorite podcasts
-protection over our house, which is surrounded by huge old growth trees, during a windstorm
-my daughter's boyfriend bringing me another flashlight, and having lots of candles, 
when the power went out while I was home alone

-the power coming back on

-hugs and prayers with a broken hearted one
-the privilege to teach God's Word
-a Sunday nap

gratefully yours,