Monday, September 22, 2014

Who Is Your Solomon?

I open my Bible Study and begin to fall in love with him. Solomon, a king whose leadership I’ve somehow missed in all my years, is only a child when he takes the throne, but his wisdom bears spiritual fruit I want to eat of.

In a dream, God grants him opportunity to ask any one thing he wants, and Solomon’s answer is, “give your servant a discerning heart to govern your people and to distinguish between right and wrong” (1 Kings 3:9).

It is granted and this wise leader immediately stands out amongst the rest because his motives are different from the rest. Humble rather than heady, Solomon became a vessel. “From all nations people came to listen to Solomon’s wisdom,” Lucado & Frazee write (The Story), leaving inspired, enlightened, guided, and stronger in the faith. Even when the queen of Sheba tried to test him, he remained steady. In Solomon’s presence people seem to feel the presence of the Lord.

Enamored, I drive to study and join my gal pals around the table. “Can you imagine a leader guiding like this? Whose desire above anything else is to know God’s heart and act accordingly?” I ask.

So often we shake our heads and bemoan what we see in the world around us. Messes feel too big. Hurt runs too deep. And, we just want to throw our arms in the air pleading, “Jesus, come.”

And He reminds I have, and I am.

“Is there anyone you admire in this way?,” I dare inquire. A leader who seeks God first, becomes a magnet by virtue of their acumen and whose warmth is as inviting to the spirit as the coffee I’m sipping is to my soul.

And I immediately identify a Solomon in my life.

She opens her mouth with wisdom & on her tongue is the law of kindness. Proverbs 31:26

This person sits on a throne of sorts, though you will rarely find her there. In this woman’s life...

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Wednesday, September 17, 2014

{No Bake} Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough Balls

You guys! I opened my Delicious Desserts Pinterest board the other day and tragedy struck.  One of our family's favorite desserts linked to a different dessertThis cannot be.  My mind raced.  I mean, how could this and my hand-held frother die in the same day?  It's like the taste bud happiness gods were against me :)

Obviously all recipes that increase to life satisfaction still need to be on good ol' fashion recipe cards.  This one included.

Since everyone is busy but can always use a tasty, simple recipe in their back pocket, today I bring you a link that will work and not change.  No siree. 

These tiny delicacies are no bake, no egg, no time consuming goodness perfect for school birthday treats, parties, or a simple family movie night.

But, be warned, they won't last long!

1 cup salted butter, softened
1 1/2 cups packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups flour
6 ounces miniature chocolate chips
chocolate flavored microwaveable almond bark

To make:
* cream the butter and brown sugar together
* blend in vanilla extract and flour until smooth
* mix in miniature chocolate chips
* roll into 1 inch balls and place in fridge
* melt as many almond bark squares as desired (I use 3 per batch)
* remove balls, drizzle chocolate on top, and place back in fridge to set

I typically make my balls slightly smaller than an inch and yield approximately 50 treats.  A lot of delicious in only a tiny amount time.  I like it! And I'm confident you will too :)
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Saturday, September 6, 2014

How to Throw the Best Cupcake Theme Birthday Party in Town

Three words. Oh. My. Cupcakes.

Yep. That's your answer.

This week is a big birthday week in our house. Grace will celebrate her golden ninth and Hannah turns seven. When talking about their theme idea - and this has been a carefully considered discussion since basically the first of the year - they landed on a cupcake theme.

Because they love Oh My Cupcakes, a local Christian based company whose mission is "To shine God's love and make people smile...with cupcakes," I called and was blown away by how awesome they were to work with.

These party kits were just $8 a box. 

Along with a two full size cupcakes, each child was able to pick their own sprinkle, candy, and icing color, making each box custom and special.  Just like the girls.  Grace and Hannah's had candles to add extra spark to their celebration. 

Much to our surprise, the space was decorated for our girls.


We loved the warm feel it gave the room and felt so blessed that they went this extra mile to make our girls feel valued.

As if they hadn't done enough, Oh My Cupcakes allowed us to borrow their pin the candle on the cupcake game so I didn't have to make one.  Good thing because I couldn't make one nearly this cute.

I also printed off this free Birthday Bingo download friendly for all ages to play

As a fun transition game to get the girls back to the table for the cupcake fun.

They decorated in style with these very fitting headbands I found on Target clearance,

And they moved their heaping tubes of icing to create cupcakes with their own unique flair.  Once all the cupcakes were finished, the girls went around the table to display their design and share what they named it.  We had everything from the elegant "Winter Wonderland" to our three year old's "Poop."  We Nesdahl's know how to keep things classy :)

It was most definitely a good time had by all.  And, to top off the joy found in sharing time with their besties, Hannah's kindergarten teacher, affectionately known as her "second mom," came to join in the fun.  She's the best. I wouldn't be surprised if Hannah invites her to be in her wedding someday.  Not. Even. Kidding. 
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