Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Do you make them? I used to. I "resolved" several years ago to stop making resolutions. All they did was depress me, because I always made the same resolution most people made and, like most people, I would fail. So, I just didn't make any.

However, as I look back on 2008 and take inventory of just what all I did do I have to say that God did some amazing things in my life. :-) He did lead me to join a gym which helped my health tremendously, and even though I didn't lose the weight I wanted to lose, the fact that I went at all (and was relatively consistent) is a HUGE improvement.

He showed me that I am much stronger (with Him of course) than I ever imagined I could be. He put to rest some old demons and stopped others before they could even arise.

He showed me Beth Moore Bible Studies, and put a fire in my heart to want to learn more, and LIVE His word, not just read it.

He has been my protector, my comforter, and my Best Friend when I needed Him, and even when I didn't realize I did. He has literally saved me more than once this year. I am almost finished with "Believing God", and this week God showed me that He has truly been with me even before I was born. He not only "knit me in mother's womb" He protected me.

When my mother was in her early stages of pregnancy with me she became ill. The doctor told her she had miscarried, but they did not perform a D and C, for whatever reason. She went home (to Texas) for rest and went to her "family doctor". He confirmed that not only was she pregnant she NEVER miscarried. Who knows what would have happened had the first doctor done a D and C? See, God was there. ;-)

Because of what He has taught me, this year I have decided to actually make a resolution. In 2009 I resolve to do my Bible Study EVERYDAY, no matter what. I resolve to memorize scripture every week, and "hide His word in my heart..." I resolve to look for evidence of His work in my life everyday, and I know I will find it; and praise Him for it. :-)

How about you? If you make resolutions what are yours?

Wendy Darling

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Another Christmas has passed...

...and it was wonderful. :-) We had our Christmas Eve service, complete with candles, and it was such a blessing. Christmas morning we did the Advent Wreath, again a blessing. "Little Mark" read the corresponding Bible verses to go with each candle.

We had breakfast pretty much ready and just popped it into the oven. We all took turns opening our stockings, so we could see what each other got. I got the "Double Twelve Dominoes". The ones you need to play "Mexican Train". I have been wanting them for awhile now, and we have had a wonderful time playing the game together. :-)

I received the most wonderful Bible Study from my sister, "M".

I believe I have established how much I LOVE Beth Moore Bible Studies. Each one that I have done has improved my life for the better. ;-) I can't wait to begin this one. :-)

"Little Mark" got a new camera. I believe that was his favorite gift this year. :-)

Like most families we had a small Christmas this year, but as always we try to keep it meaningful. The goal is to spend it with family and make memories. ;-) I believe we succeeded. :-)

How was your Christmas?

Wendy Darling

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Sunday, December 21, 2008

I think we are ready... ;-)

We finished up our shopping yesterday. All that we had left to buy were stocking stuffers and the food for Thursday.


We don't do a big dinner or anything. We save that for Thanksgiving. For Christmas we just do "party" food, and we snack All. Day. Long. It's very relaxing. We also just play games, watch movies...whatever. Again, it's relaxing. ;-)

Here is our "menu" for the day:

Pigs in a blanket
Fresh Fruit


Stuffed Mushrooms
Sausage Balls
Cheese Dip
Spinach Dip
Bean Dip
Finger Sandwiches (Turkey, Beef or Chicken)
Cheese and Crackers
Veggie Tray
Seasoned Crackers
Cherry Salad

Chicken Fried Steak
Mashed Potatoes

That's pretty much it. We have to have so much, because not everyone likes the same thing, so we have to make sure everyone is represented. ;-) I cook all I can in advance, and then just reheat around lunch time. :-) Like I said, we really try to make everything with as little trouble as possible, VERY little clean up, and just have a day of FUN! ;-)

So, what's your menu for Christmas Day?

Wendy Darling

Friday, December 19, 2008

The Grocery Cart Challenge Recipe Swap....

I have been to two parties in the last week, and therefore have tasted some WONDERFUL new treats. Let me say, again, just how wonderful the holidays are. :-) Anyway, two dishes were so amazing to me that I immediately asked for the recipe, and then let the "cook" know that I would be posting it on my blog for the recipe swap.

That means you get two! :-) I hope you enjoy them as much as I have. :-)


2 pkgs frozen chopped spinach
1 jar Alfredo sauce
1 can chopped or sliced artichokes
1 8 oz pkg fine shredded italian blend cheese
1 table spoon minced garlic salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 300°F. Mix together all ingredients but half of the cheese in a oven safe bowl or pan.

Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes cover with remaining cheese & bake till melted and slightly golden. Serve with chips or crackers

Easy Oreo Truffles

1 pkg. (1 lb. 2 oz.) OREO Cookies, finely crushed, divided
1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
Make It

MIX 3 cups of the cookie crumbs and the cream cheese until well blended. Shape into 42 (1-inch) balls.

DIP balls in melted chocolate; place on waxed paper-covered baking sheet. (Any leftover melted chocolate can be stored in tightly covered container at room temperature and saved for another use.) Sprinkle with remaining cookie crumbs.

REFRIGERATE 1 hour or until firm. Store any leftover truffles in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

OH MY WORD! Y'all have to try these!! :-)

For more wonderful recipes head over to Gayle's. :-)


Wendy Darling

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I'm requesting your help...

This pertains to a subject that I have blogged about before, and is very close to my heart.

My family and I have adopted soldiers in the past. This year, financially, we could only do one soldier. So, we adopted one, as a family. We send one care package a month, because postal charges do hurt. This is a petition to ask congress to allow citizens to send letters and care packages to our heroes for FREE.

My comments to my submission stressed that we could help more soldiers, or buy more supplies for our hero, if we didn't have to worry about the postage. That would also help the economy, because we would be purchasing more things.

I have never posted about a bill, or a petition before; and I don't see me doing it again. This one is important though, so I am posting it.

Please, click on the link provided, and sign the petition. Then, send the electronic letter to your Senators and Representatives. Finally, pass it on to your friends, or better yet, link back here on your blog. The more signatures we can get the more of our heroes we can help. :-)

Go here: www.rallycongress.com/...-soldiers/

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

It's pretty much a list, again.... ;-)

Fist, don't forget that tomorrow is the deadline to sign up for the giveaway over at Boomama's. :-) I'm hoping to win the camera for Cleggy. ;-)

Speaking of Cleggy, Today (Wednesday actually) is his birthday. :-) Head on over and surprise him by wishing him a Happy Birthday. ;-)

Let me, again, bring your attention to Gayle's recipe swap she hosted last week. There are a lot of amazing recipes that may be beneficial for all of your holiday baking/cooking next week. I know I found a few that I will be making. :-)

I, finally, broke down and bought pecans at the grocery store, ya'll. I cannot believe I spent $6 on a pound of pecan halves! I live in Texas; our state tree is the pecan tree! I should be able to get these for A LOT less than $6.
Of course, I could probably get them free if I wasn't too lazy to shell them myself...but that takes a lot more time than I am willing to commit. And it ruins my nails...

Anyway, I bought the pecans so I could make caramel and chocolate pecan bars for the bake sale last week. They are AMAZING! And so sweet that I could only eat a small one (bite size) without getting ill. But, they were worth every penny of the $6 for the pecans. I only needed a cup of them, though. So, I used the rest to make these:

I have been craving fruit cake cookies ever since I mentioned them in this post. Even though it was a short mention, the seed was still planted. I needed fruitcake cookies. I, finally, made them today, and they smelled heavenly. Fresh grated nutmeg makes everything smell better, ya'll. Just sayin'.

And my craving was completely satisfied when I ate 2... or 5..., but who's counting. :-) Besides that, I am a firm believer that fruit cake IS health food. There's fruit, and nuts, and carbs for energy...

Please don't burst my bubble by reminding me of the butter and sugar... I prefer to live in my own little world, at least until after the holidays. ;-)

Here is the recipe for those of you who are interested. Enjoy. :-)

Christmas Fruit Cookies

1 C of butter, softened
1 1/2 C of sugar
3 eggs
1 tsp of baking soda dissolved in 2 tsp of hot water.
3 C of flour
2 tsp of cinnamon
1/2 tsp of nutmeg
2 lbs of pecan halves
1 lb. of candied fruit (for fruitcake)

Preheat oven to 275 degrees F. (Yes, I did say
275) Cream butter and sugar. Add eggs and dissolved soda. Mix well. Put dry ingredients in a bowl and combine well. Add to creamed mixture and mix well. Stir in pecans and fruit. Drop on cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. About 1/4 cup scoops. Bake for 30 minutes, or until golden brown around the edges. :-) These make REALLY big cookies. :-)

Wendy Darling

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Digital Camera Give-away!

Boomama is giving away a digital camera at her blog. Deadline to enter is December 17th. Hurry over and sign up. :-)

Wendy Darling

Friday, December 12, 2008

Grocery Cart Recipe Swap...

Sorry, y'all. I had a bake sale early this morning so the recipe is late. I hope you enjoy it anyway. :-) For more recipes don't forget to go over to Gayle's. :-)

BBQ Cups

1 lb. of ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bottle BBQ sauce
grated cheese
1 can 10 ct biscuits

Brown ground beef and onions in a pot. Season with salt and pepper. Drain. Add in on bottle of BBQ sauce. Flavor and brand is your choice.

Using a muffin tin, place one biscuit inside each muffin hole. Push down to "line" the sides of each, making a "bowl" shape. Place a spoonful of the meat mixture in each biscuit. Bake at 375 for about 10 minutes. Take out and top with cheese. Place back in the oven for just a minute longer, giving the cheese time to melt. Serve with a salad. :-)

Wendy Darling

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Peppermint Pinwheel Cookies...

I missed the usual Friday Recipe swap last week, so this week you get two. ;-) Today I am joining Candi's Christmas Carnival. She has 2 really great recipes over there. :-)

I cannot take credit for this recipe at all. I saw it the other night on Paula Deen's Cookie Swap show and I just HAD to make them. ;-) They are AWESOME y'all. Here is the direct link to the recipe.

And here is the result:

As you can see, mine are going in a bake sale tomorrow. However, I did eat a couple and they are amazing. :-) They do take some time to make, but they are definitely worth the time investment. ;-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Let it Snow, Let it Snow, Let it Snow.... ;-)

Guess what it is doing in East Texas?! It's been light flurries on and off today, but tonight as we pulled up to church HUGE flakes began falling and sticking to the cars. As we exited the church and saw all of the cars covered in blankets of white.... well, let's just say we were ALL excited. :-) The kids immediately began scraping off the snow and having snowball fights. ;-) I really hope it lasts awhile. :-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

This may end up being a list...

I've been meaning to blog since last week. First, I ran out of time, then there were times I just didn't "feel like it." Then, of course, there is the dreaded "I have nothing to write about." So, this may actually turn into a boring list.

I apologize ahead of time. Truly, I do.

To start off I slept most of the day. Now, for those of you going "Man, wish I could..." don't. I had a massive sinus headache from "you know where" most of the day. For the first half of the day I survived on Excedrin for Sinus headaches, water and saltines. I hate it when you have a headache so bad you don't want to move, but your so nauseous you have to eat something. If it wasn't for the really bad sinus pressure I would have thought I was having a migraine.

I did get up and get dressed around 11:00 am. I thought that would make me feel better. It did a little. I then ate a sandwich and drank more water, which also helped. After that I took more aspirin and sat in the chair in the schoolroom with a cold rag over my eyes. I did nod on and off as "Little Mark" finished up his schoolwork. He worked fairly well, independently today. :-)

My original plan was to bake all day for the bake sale we are having on Friday. That didn't happen. I did get up around 4:00 pm. I felt much better, and I did make a batch of mini, red velvet cupcakes. That was all though. The rest will have to wait until tomorrow. ;-)

I, finally, managed to get "Little Mark's" Christmas picture taken, so tomorrow the last of the Christmas cards will go out. :-)

"Little Mark" has actually said some VERY humorous things lately that I have been meaning to blog about, but now I can't recall them enough to do so. Don't you hate it when that happens? ;-) He seems to have inherited his Uncle Cleggy's sense of humor. Which is probably a good thing. :-)

I do remember once when we were young we were listening to a Sunday School lesson about Lot and his wife. The teacher got to the part about Lot's wife turning to a pillar of salt, and said that even today that land is very salty. Cleggy responded, "Man, she must have been one big woman." LOL... :-) That's the kind of humor "Little Mark" is adapting. :-)

I've been meaning to post a picture of our Christmas tree this year. This is the first time we have ever had a white tree. I have to admit, it took some time to "grow on me." I'm a pretty traditional person, and to not look in that room and see a green tree took some getting used to. :-) But, I have to say, I really do like it. :-) What do you think?

I know it looks pink, but believe me, it is white. :-) The ornaments look really nice on there too. Especially this one:
Sorry, "T". We do have Little One's ornament still here. We'll bring it with us when we exchange gifts so he can put it on your tree. :-)

Our family did indeed get to go to Santa Land this year, albeit a week late. But, we made it. It was so exciting. There were new things, again, and we had the best time. I even attempted to use the video feature on my camera. I found out just how much video my card will hold.

About 20 minutes less than I need it too. :-)

However, the audio worked great as well. When I can figure out how to upload a video to this thing I'll be happy to share some of it with you. Unfortunately, my card filled up before I could get us all singing Christmas carols driving through the park together. It was really fun. ;-)

I am hoping we get to go back one more time, and this time I'll wait and video the second half. ;-) If nothing else, this weekend I'll get Cleggy to teach me how to take still photos from a video and I'll post those.

Well, I've bored you enough for one blog post. I will really try to do better this week about blogging. :-)

Wendy Darling

Wednesday, December 03, 2008

The Reason for the Season...

Little Mark is competing in the 4-H photography contest at the district level. He decided to put this photo in the "special effects" category. He used a black bed sheet as the back drop, and then in Poly View he wrote "The Reason for the Season" on the photo. He chose the font and everything. Doesn't it look like it could be a Christmas card? ;-)

Wendy Darling

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

It's ON!! ;-)

I'm rooting for you both. ;-)

Wendy Darling