Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Empty Tomb Cookies

I mentioned in my post yesterday how my mom would make Empty Tomb cookies the night before Easter. I got a hold of the recipe and thought some of you might like to try it with your kids. I'm excited to do it with Keller & Presley :) Enjoy!


1 cup whole pecans, in a plastic baggie
1 teaspoon vinegar
3 egg whites
1 pinch salt
1 cup sugar

1.)Preheat oven to 300 degrees--you MUST do it now. Also, gather a cooking mallet, kitchen mixer, masking tape and Bible.

2.)Read John 19:1-3 ~ Jesus was beaten for our sins; beat the nuts with a cooking mallet; set aside.

3.)Read John 19:28-30 - Jesus drank something like vinegar (gall), sniff the fragrance, dip finger in and taste, too; place the vinegar in a mixing bowl.

4.)Read John 10:10-11 - Egg whites symbolize Jesus' holy, innocent life; add whites to the bowl with the vinegar.

5.)Read Luke 23:27 - the bitter tears of the women; taste a few grains, remember your own sins; add the salt to the bowl.

6.)Read Psalm 34:8 and John 3:16 - Sweet salvation! Taste and see; add to the bowl.

7.)Crank up the mixer and let it go while you read from Isaiah 1:18 and John 3:1-3; let the mixer go for about 12-15 MINUTES; this needs to be VERY stiff!

8.)Read Matthew 27:57-60 - Fold the nuts into the egg-sugar mixture; this symbolizes the rocks in the garden.

9.)Using a scoop or knife & spoon, drop by spoon into mounds (to resemble a rocky tomb); put into the oven and turn it OFF!

10.)Read Matthew 27:65-66 - The tomb is sealed; use two pieces of tape (5-6 inches long) to "seal" the door edges (symbolically).

11.)Read John 16:20 & 22 - Consider these passages, then go to bed!

12.)NEXT MORNING: Read Matthew 28:1-9 - Jesus is risen! Behold--the empty tomb! Unseal the oven door, take out the cookies, break or bite one in half -- it should be hollow inside---empty---just like the Tomb!

He is risen! He is risen indeed! Hallelujah!

Monday, April 18, 2011

"It just kinda sneaks up on you"

The other day I was in Dollar Tree getting little things to fill up goody bags for an event I'm doing. I was going from aisle to aisle trying to find something that didn't have the Easter bunny plastered all over it. I know it was probably a stretch but couldn't they just have one thing with at least a cross on it? That's when I saw this woman in the aisle putting all sorts of Easter "crap" in her basket. Peeps, that annoying green grass that gets everywhere, plastic eggs, etc. She must have thought I was up to the same thing and she struck up a conversation with me.

"You must have forgot that Easter was next week, too."

I must have looked a little puzzled

"It's the only holiday that I always forget about it. But I have to have something for kids from the Easter Bunny. It's one that always sneaks up on you."

Now I wasn't puzzled, but my heart hurt.

Not because I was sad that she waited until the week before to get her kids baskets filled up, but because she "forgot" about the true meaning of Easter and it's incredible story. I would like to tell you that I told her what Easter was all about and as Christians the beautiful hope we have because of it. I wanted to tell her that because of what Christ did for us on that cross, we were free to come to places like Dollar Tree and buy useless junk. I wanted to say that because of what my Savior endured we would have life in Heaven with him forever.

But I didn't.

I politely smiled and continued walking.

Not one of my proudest moments, but then again it did make me think.

I grew up in a Christian home and Easter was always a big deal. Sure we got new dresses and my mom curled our hair in those spongy pink rollers but it wasn't a big deal because of these things . My mom would have some sort of pre Easter activity planned. I don't remember all of them but one in particular was when we made empty tomb cookies. We got to put all the ingredients in and then put them in the oven. We then sealed the oven, our "tomb" with tape to represent the tomb being sealed shut. The next morning, we got to remove the tape. The cookies were empty inside, just like the tomb was empty on the third day. It was awesome! I have all sort of memories like that throughout my childhood because I had a mom that took opportunities to teach us the most important lessons.

My point of this post was that I don't want to miss another opportunity like I did with that woman. I don't want Easter to "sneak" up on you. I don't want you to make it all about bunnies and peeps and dyed eggs. Not that there is anything wrong with that. I love doing fun stuff like that for my kids. But I can also guarantee you Keller knows what Easter is about. So here is my invitation to you. Join me for Easter this Sunday at Antioch Christian Church. Just come, don't makes excuses. Come and hear for yourself what really happened. Make this Sunday a priority.

Easter @ Antioch
4040 Maple (across the street from Walters Restaurant)
Pancake breakfast at 8:00 a.m. FREE
Service starts at 10:00 a.m.
Nursery is provided for 0-2 years

Thursday, April 14, 2011

"But, I'll get kidnapped!"

I wanted to share a funny (well to you, but not to me) story that happened last week.
Last Friday we decided to take the kids to the drive-in movie. The movie doesn't start until after dark, so Tyler decided to play the "back 9" at the course, meanning they only play 9 holes as opposed to the full 18. Why anyone would want to play 9, let alone 18 holes of golf is beyond me, but I digress...

So Tyler leaves and I decide I'll go ahead and get into something more comfortable for the movies. Afterall, you can wear your jammies because it's completely dark and you sit in your car. Well, I couldn't find the right combo of pants and top so I threw on a short robe and decided I'd just hang out in that for bit. The kids were in the backyard playing and I kept hearing Keller yelling at Axel to calm down. I figured he must be hungry (the dog) so I proceeded to go outside. He was really hyper when I got out there. So hyper that he jumped on the glass door and was able to shut it. No big deal,right? Umm, wrong. The stupid door locked. Now this door isn't a normal door. In fact, anyone who has ever come in contact with it ends up never wanting to go out of it again.

It's old and needs to be replaced. But we have kept it because it was hard for the kids to open it. We liked this "feature" because we didn't want them going in the backyard by themselves, especially since we got a pool. Anyways, so the door locks.
I'm in my robe, with nothing on underneath (sorry if that's tmi). My cell is on the table. The front door is locked. AND... because my sweet, dear husband likes to protect his family, both gates were also locked. Did I mention Tyler had already left for the course? Knowing it will be a good two hours before he gets home, I start devising a plan. At first I think I'll break the door with a brick. Bad idea. This sends Presley into a tizzy and she starts screaming. Ok, Plan B. I'll see if a can nudge a window open. Again, Mr. Security aka, Tyler has installed these little things on the windows that keep them from going up too far. No good. So here I am trying to break the back door, pry open a window and console my child, all while trying to keep my robe from coming open and exposing the goods. Then, I had one last idea...

I went to the fence and looked over. Thinking maybe someone would be out there. Note to self, times like these are when you should really know your neighbors. That way they can help you out of jams like this. Well, no one was around. Enter Keller. My fun, fearless, five year old. He tells me, "I'll just jump over the fence and get some help!" Great idea! I tell him I want him to climb over, run across the street and ask the neighbor if we could use her cell phone. I would like to tell you he hopped right over and saved the day. But no. He cracked. He comepetely crumbled under the pressure. He immideately burst into tears and and started crying,"But I can't do it! I'll get kidnapped!" "Someone will steal me when I run across the street!" "I can't do it mamma, I can't! Let's just pray about it!" So that's what we did. It was short and sweet. And because I know God listens to short, sweet little prayers from short, sweet little boys I wasn't surprised when I popped my head over the fence and saw our faithful neighborhood walking woman! I'm sure I must have looked so strange trying to hold onto the fence and and keep my robe closed as I asked to borrow her cell. She was happy to let me, and thankfully Tyler answered and quickly came home to "rescue" us. So lessons learned here: 1) Make sure your take your cell phone everywhere 2)Put on something decent before going outside, EVEN if it's your backyard and 3)Prayer works... especially ones from little boys.

We did end up making it to the drive-in, and I think they had a pretty good time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Let's Hear It For The Boy

What is it about babies that are so incredible? They have this ability to make you feel so warm and fuzzy and they can't even do anything! Today, I had the honor of meeting the newest member of the Carter family, Ethan William. I can't really explain what this did for my heart. I saw this brand new, precious little creature and was immediately moved to tears. My most favorite part about new babies is seeing the mama being handed this new little life for the first time. Today was no exception. You could see the sheer joy all over Kristin's face and it was beautiful. I felt so blessed to stand there and watch these two parents hold and love on their little boy for the first time. In the line of work I'm in I'm around kids a lot. But today, I remembered why I do what I do. Sitting there holding him I was enamoured by how good and faithful our God really is. Think about it. The God of all creation, knew that on this day this baby would be born. As I held him, I prayed over him. I prayed that God would bless this little boy, that He would protect him, put obstacles in his path that would make him stronger and most of all that he would have an unwavering passion for Christ.

Lately I've been in a funk, and this baby boy was exactly what I needed. He reminded me of everything good. He was full of promise. Full of innocence. Holding a baby, smelling them, touching their sweet little face, stirs up something in this mamma's heart! It's been so long since I've held someone that little. And I'd be lying if I said that I was done having babies. My thoughts on that are that God's knows the deepest desires of my heart and if He sees fit for Tyler and I to parent again, then that's exactly what He will do. Babies are good for the soul, and they are most definitely the best way to start people.

Ethan William Carter

"Before I formed you in the womb I knew you. Before you were born, I set you apart."

Jeremiah 1:5

Monday, April 11, 2011

What's In A Name

I have come to the conclusion that my daughter doesn't know her real name. If you have kids you know how easy/cute it is to start calling them something special when they are born. I don't think we intentionally try to do this, it just sort of happens. When Presley was born she was this tiny, petite little thing. Everyone said how much she looked like me, her mama.Thus, calling her "mama" was born. Then I started to notice that others called their little girl "mamma" too. No problem right? Well, not really. Turns out, "mama" is a term of endearment used in the Hispanic culture. Last time I checked, both Tyler and I are white and I didn't want to offend anyone by calling her that. So eventually "mama" died off...

Enter Kelsey. My sister. My best friend.Complete moron. I say this with lots of love. Kelsey likes to rename things. There have been many instances where Kelsey takes it upon herself to rename things for people. She either doesn't like what you've named your child, pet,car etc or she knows she can come up with something more clever. For example, we found a sweet little mut on the street. She was rough around the edges and looked like she had "lived a little." I thought Roxy would be the perfect name. Kelsey took one look at her and said she looked like a Reba. Don't get me wrong, I love Reba McIntyre, but I didn't want to name my dog after her. Long story short. The dog is still named Roxy. Kelsey still calls her Reba. My child was no exception. Presley's middle name is Jo. Just like me and my mom. Well, Jo wasn't good enough for Aunt Kels, so she lengthened it to Josephine. So now we have Presley Josephine, not just Jo. Tyler hates this. Mainly due to the fact that she actually answers to it! And not Presley Josephine, but just Josephine! I can't remember the last time Kelsey even called her Presley. Very comical to me, not so much for Tyler.

Then of course there are the other names that come into play. P.J. , Princess and Sassy. Lately we are loving anything to do with princesses. In fact, she rarely wants to wear pants or shorts,becasue you cannot do a proper princess spin in pants or shorts! She loves when you call her a princess and I am happy to oblige. The name Sassy came about pretty recently. That is the best word to describe what this little fireball is! She thinks she is the boss of everything and everyone. Including herself. I've caught her a few times giving herself a "good talking to" while looking in the mirror.

So, our daughter has a few names. What's the harm in that? It really doesn't matter what we call her. Presley, Josephine,P.J.,Princess or Sassy. What matters is she knows that she is loved. And,oh, how we love our little girl...even if we can't decide on a name for her.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

You are for me

I have a good life. I am very blessed. My life has been full of amazing moments. But life is also dotted with things that bump into my happy. Up and down, up and down...do you ever feel this way? This morning I woke up with pounding headache, a throat on fire and a body that ached all over. Still I was determined to have a cheerful attitude. Then I received a phone call and my (somewhat) cheerful disposition went down the drain. This phone call came down on me like a crashing wave. I didn't see it coming. I went under. My heart got snagged. My emotions well up. My attitude was...awful. I bet you can understand. So after I got off the phone, I whispered a prayer to Jesus through tears. It was honest.It was simple.

"What is the deal Jesus? Why do I always seem to have little pieces of brokenness in my life. It's so frustrating.It's not fair! You know the desires of my heart. We deserve this. It's so frustrating. I need your perspective on the disappointment or a need a break from it."

There was no answer.

No instant verse.



Until I was putting my sweet Presley's clothes away in her room and a song came on. I love to put my iPhone in our iHome and let the music rattle the walls of our home. I usually choose a specific play list I choose from. But today I chose shuffle. Good thing I did, because God was the DJ this afternoon. A song from Kari Jobe started to play. I can't explain it to you, so take a whole 4 minutes out of your life and listen to it here:

In that very moment of brokenness and let down, God was letting me know. I am for you, Kara. I know what is best for you and your family. Please leave the details to me. Because I love you.

We all are disappointed at some time in our lives.

Marriages fail.

Bills don't get paid.

Women's' wombs stay empty when they long for a baby.

People say mean things.

But I have to hold on to the promise that God is for me. And He is for you too. So bring him your ugliness, bring him your joy. He uses all these things to remind us of who He is. Here are the lyrics. Let this be your prayer.

So faithful. So constant. So loving and so true.

So powerful in all you do.

You fill me. You see me. You know my every move.You love for me to sing to You.

I know that You are for me. I know that You are for me. knowthat you will neverforsake me in my weakness. And I know that You have come down, even if to ride upon my heart. To remind me of who You are.

So patient. So gracious. So merciful and true. So Wonderful in all You do.

You fill me. You see me. You know my every move. And you love for me to sing to You


Spring Cleaning

I was so tired of the way my old blog looked. I needed somthing new and fresh. I want to use this blog as a way to share our life and our faith with others. More than anything I want to be able to have something to "look back on." Our kids say and do so many great things and what better way to record them than online?! Anyways, I would love for you to come along with us on journey through parenthood. My Spring resolution is to post more often. Some blogs I follow post nearly everyday! While I more than likely won't have time for that I do hope to post more frequently. More than anything, I want this blog to encourage you, make you laugh and quite possible convict you. Check back soon for more. You are loved.