Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The Legend of the Candy Cane

Long ago there were two villages in a far-off land. One was in a valley, and one was on a mountain top. The people in the mountain village wanted to give each person in the valley a Christmas gift. So the mountain townspeople formed a committee to think of something special. Money was limited, and each gift had to be of equal value to each person. After much time and discussion a decision was finally reached. The town's candy maker, and elderly gentleman who had loved Jesus for many years, came up with an idea--the candy cane.
Now, you may be thinking, what is so special about a candy cane--and how can it ever be tied in with the real meaning of Christmas? Well, here is how... and why... 

1. The candy cane is in the shape of a shepherd's staff. Jesus is our Shepherd, and we are His flock. A sheep follows his own shepherd, knows his voice, trusts him and knows that he is totally safe with him. The sheep will follow no other shepherd than their own. In the same way, if we belong to Jesus, we are to follow only Him. (John 10:11, Psalm 23:1; Isaiah 40:11)

2. Turned over, the candy cane is a "J," the first letter of Jesus' name. (Luke 1:31) It is made of hard candy to remind us that Christ is the "rock" of our salvation.

3. The wide red stripes on the candy cane represent the blood Jesus shed on the cross for each one of us so that we can have eternal life through Him. He restores us and cleans us with His shed blood--the only thing that can wash away our sin. (Luke 22:20)

4. The white stripes on the candy cane represent Jesus' virgin birth and His pure, sinless life. He is the only human being ever who never committed a single sin, even though He was tempted just as we are. (1 Peter 2:22)

5. The narrow red stripes on candy canes symbolize Jesus' stripes, or scars, which He got when He was arrested and whipped. the Bible says we are healed (of sin) because he took those wounds. (Isaiah 53:5, 1 Peter 2:24)

6. The flavoring in the candy can is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is of the mint family and was used in Old Testament times for purification and sacrifice. (John 19:29; Psalm 51:7)

7. When we break our candy cane, it reminds us that Jesus' body was broken for us. When we have communion, it is a reminder of what He did for us. (1 Corinthians 11:24)

8. AND, if we share our candy cane and give some to someone else because we love that person, we are sharing the love of Jesus. (1 John 4:7,8) 

Some people believe this story of the candy cane is only a legend. Others believe it really happened this way. We do not know for sure exactly how the candy cane was invented, but one thing is certain... it is an excellent picture of Christ and His love for you. (ats tracts)

Monday, December 8, 2008

Julie's baby shower pictures

I hosted a baby shower for Julie Mckinnon back in October. She wasn't able to come though, because she had her baby boy early and he was in the NICU. My friend Melissa took the pictures at the shower. It was fun to cook the food and decorate,especially since I had so much help from Kim Rackley! I couldn't have done it without her. We made the 'theme' really fallish and served apple cider, pumpkin muffins and gave caramel apples away as favors.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Some Thanksgiving pictures

We had a wonderful time at my Grandma's house in Illinois for Thanksgiving. We stopped in Indianapolis to pick up my parents and then we all traveled together to my Mom's parents house. I hadn't spent a Thanksgiving with my parents in 7 years! So, it was so nice to be all together this time. We had a wonderful meal and then shared ways God has blessed us. I'm also posting some pictures of my cousin Liz's house. She recently got married to a farmer and so we had to go see her home! =) 

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

"I will praise the name of God with a song; I will magnify him with thanksgiving" Psalm 69:30

"Thanks be to God for his inexpressible gift!" 2 Corinthians 9:15

"Oh give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; For his steadfast love endures forever!" Psalm 118:1

"Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks to him; bless his name! For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his faithfulness to all generations." Psalm 100:4-5

"Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God." Philippians 4:6

Friday, November 21, 2008

Yummy Apple Pumpkin Muffins


2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
1 cup canned or cooked pumpkin
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups finely chopped peeled apples


1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
4 teaspoon cold butter or margarine


1. In a bowl, combine the first five ingredients. In another bowl, combine the eggs, pumpkin and oil; stir into dry ingredients just until moistened. Fold in apples. Fill paper-lined muffin cups two-thirds full. In a small bowl, combine sugar, flour and cinnamon. Cut in butter until crumbly. Sprinkle over batter.

2. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for 5 minutes before removing from pans to wire racks.

TIP: If you don't have any pumpkin pie spice on hand, I used this substitution:

1 1/2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger

Mix it all together and...voila!! 

A Night Out...

Monday, November 10, 2008

Big News

I have a facebook page that I keep up with on a more consistent basis than this blog, so I forgot to announce on here that we found out a couple of weeks ago we are having a BOY!! Chase and I are super excited and can't wait to meet the little guy. Luke Everett Blankenship will be making his entrance into the world, Lord willing around March 18, 2009. 

Miss Emma

I just wanted to post these pictures of Emma that Chase took with his cell phone yesterday. Our digital camera is broken so that's why I haven't posted many pics lately. 

Monday, October 27, 2008

Apple Recipes

Crock Pot Applesauce

Ingredients: 10 large cooking apples, peeled, cored and sliced or cut into chunks
1/2 cup of water
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup to 1 cup of sugar

Directions: Put all ingredients into crock pot. Should be about 3/4 full. Cover and cook on low 8 to 10 hours or on high (3-4 hours)

 Apple Pie

prep time: 25 mins
cook time: 55 mins
ready in: 1 hour 20 mins

Ingredients: 2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt 
3/4 cup shortening
4 tablespoons cold water

7 cups thinly sliced peeled baking apples ( Gala works great!)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 tablespoons butter or margarine
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon water

Directions: 1. In a bowl, combine flour salt; cut in shortening. Gradually add cold water, 1 tablespoon at a time, tossing lightly with a fork until dough forms a ball. Chill for 30 minutes. On a floured surface, roll half of dough into 10-in. circle. Place into a 9-in. pie pan.

2. In a bowl, toss apples with lemon juice. Combine sugar, flour, cinnamon, slat and nutmeg; add to apples and toss. Pour into crust; dot with butter. Roll out remaining pastry to fit top of pie;  cut slits in top. Place over filling; seal and flute edges. Beat egg yolk and water; brush over pastry. Bake at 425 degrees F for 15 minutes. ( Be sure to cover the edges of your pie crust with some foil to prevent it from burning)
Reduce heat to 350 degrees F;  bake 40-45 minutes more or until crust is golden and filling is bubbly.

Tip: If you are in a hurry and don't have much time, I bought the store brand pie crust for $1 at Aldi and used it with this recipe. It turned out fabulous.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Bring on the apple pickin' =)

Today we went to Sky Top orchard in North Carolina and picked a peck of apples. =) Emma loved grabbing the half-rotten ones off the ground and mixing them in our bucket. But don't worry we threw them out before they got overlooked. 
I personally, have never been apple picking before so it was a fun first experience. It was kind of chilly but after we were done bagging up our apples we stood in line for some warm homemade apple cider doughnuts. mmmmmmmm....they were soooooo good!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Emma's Barnyard Birthday

We had Emma's party at Herdklotz park last Saturday. The weather turned out beautiful although a bit windy. We were worried our cardboard barn would blow down but it waited until everyone had left and then toppled over. =) It was neat to see how much more Emma's enjoyed her birthday this year. Tissue paper and cupcakes were two of her favorite things, ha! 
I want to thank my friend Kim Rackley for making the awesome cake farm. It was super cute!