The lines have fallen to me in pleasant places; Indeed, my heritage is beautiful to me. ~ Psalm 16:6 nasb

Friday, February 18, 2011

FFG -- Cinnamon Pecan Muffins


My sweet friend Lori hosts Friday Farm Girls @ Heart every week;
please click on her button to visit her blog
and to find out how you can participate!

I was so happy to receive my Pampered Chef stoneware muffin pan this past Monday from a young lady who recently hostessed a party.  Now that I have two stoneware muffin pans, I can make two dozen muffins.  No more hungry teenage boys crossing their eyes when I declare, "Three muffins each, now, boys!"  Now I have leftover muffins, to be eaten throughout the day, or even for breakfast the next morning!  It's proof to darling husband that I fed his boys breakfast.  Not that he requires it--the proof or the feeding--but now I can proudly point and say, "Look what I made for breakfast!  Would you like one?"  :)

Cinnamon Pecan Muffins

1 1/4 cup flour (I used fresh-ground whole-wheat and added an extra 1/4 cup)
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup sugar (I used cane juice crystals)
3/4 cup milk
4 tablespoons butter, softened
1 egg, beaten

1/2 cup brown sugar (I used sucanat)
1/2 cup oats
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup pecans, chopped
1 tablespoon butter, melted

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Coat muffin cups with butter.  Mix together flour, baking powder, and salt.  In a separate bowl, mix sugar, milk, butter, and egg.  Add liquid mixture to flour mixture and mix just until moistened.  In a small bowl mix topping ingredients.

Fill muffin cups about half full with batter, sprinkle topping, then fill cups with remaining batter and top with remaining topping.  Bake about 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.  Cool ten minutes before serving.  Makes 12 muffins.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Tea Talk -- To Him Who Is Able

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm having...a cup of hot chocolate, with a dusting of mix on top.  I think it looks pretty even in muted tones.

I'm feeling...decent, trying to get over this cold, which is mostly just sneezes and sniffles.  I'm thankful, though, that I came down with it this past week, and not next week when I'm scheduled to fly to Georgia for a weekend-long photo shoot.  I should be healthier by this time next week, and ready to travel.

On my that very photo shoot!  I have the great privilege of shooting images--both candid and portraits--for Southeastern Christian Home Discipleship Families.  I need to make sure all of my camera equipment is ready to go, and that I have everything I need.  Of course, my always-handy vacation list needs to be modified, and this time for two!  Danny will be accompanying me as my traveling companion, luggage and equipment handler, and "minister of friendship" to the T. family (specifically their son Jay!) while we're in Atlanta.  Though Danny was supposed to be a "surprise" for the T. children, they found out anyway (they usually do one way or another), so there are no secrets to be kept and we can concentrate on simply preparing for our journey.

I leave you with...a praise and benediction to the Lord.  I have been reading various verses about how the Lord is glorified, and how He is (and will be) glorified through us, and how we must live to His glory (and not to our own).  These following verses are fitting.

Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly
beyond all that we ask or think,
according to the power that works within us,
to Him be the glory in the church
and in Christ Jesus
to all generations
forever and ever.  Amen.
Ephesians 3:20-21 nasb

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Counting My Blessings -- February 15

Branch Of Wisdom

Join us in counting our blessings by clicking above to visit Tamara's blog.

Oh, how I praise the name of my heavenly Father, who adds to His Kingdom those He has chosen.

Our sweet Joseph

Joseph has struggled with faith and doubt these past three or four years.  He has asked the tough questions:  Why did God make me like this?  Why did He give me autism?  What is the purpose?  How come He hasn't healed me?  He has had agonizing conversations with his dad, struggling to put his thoughts and emotions into words.  And his dad has been so patient with him, giving words for those thoughts, the things locked up in Joseph's head.

On Sunday, February 13, Joseph, with the help of his dad, surrendered his life to Christ once and for all.  Doubts about the future may linger, struggles on the path are certain, but Joseph belongs to Him now.  And there is no doubt about that.

How blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven,
Whose sin is covered!
Psalm 32:1 nasb

So then you are no longer strangers and aliens,
but you are fellow citizens with the saints,
and are of God's household.
Ephesians 2:19 nasb

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Tea Talk -- Praise the Lord

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm having...Earl Grey tea sweetened with raw honey.  Perfect in the afternoon!  Below is an image of my favorite tea mug, which I'm no longer using.  I posted its fate here; for now, I'm enjoying being able to see it whole and useful with this image taken before its demise.

I'm feeling...It's funny, I don't usually think about how I feel.  I always have to pause and think about what to share here.  :)  Happy or sad, healthy or sick, peaceful or overwhelmed?  I feel fine, though I am getting a cold, I think, with fighting a headache and general lethargy which I know is not laziness.

On my mind...Oh, lots of things to do this week.  Doctor appointment today (nothing serious), "date" with my parents tomorrow (they invited me to a Home & Garden show!), "fashion show" at Christopher & Banks on Saturday (I get to "model" two outfits in the store).  A busy end-of-week but hopefully a peaceful weekend to rest, recuperate, and accomplish some goals for school and cleaning.

I leave you with...Psalm 117.  Yes, the whole Psalm.  (It's only two verses.)  My head isn't thinking clearly enough to post anything "deep," but these two verses are deep enough!

Praise the LORD, all nations;
Laud Him, all peoples!
For His lovingkindness is great toward us,
And the truth of the LORD is everlasting.
Praise the Lord!
Psalm 117:1-2 nasb

Praise Him; His truth stands forever.  He is my Rock.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Heartbeat/Homebeat: Kitchen

For a fun photography project yesterday, I decided to set up my tripod and camera facing the kitchen, the heart of the home.  My goal was to illustrate the "life" of the kitchen throughout a typical day, even though I captured images from early morning until just after lunchtime.  The funny thing is that the kitchen didn't start out clean (it usually does; I'm a stickler for going to bed with a spotless kitchen).

First shot -- 7:44am

I had to reset the camera twice--once when Thomas accidentally nudged the tripod, and once when I did it.  It was in the middle of everything and I spent the morning saying, "Watch out for the tripod!  Don't walk near the tripod!  Get away from the tripod...!"

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Counting My Blessings -- February 8

Branch Of Wisdom

Join us at Tamara's blog by clicking above!!

There are two particular things for which I'm praising the Lord today.  First...

...a husband who has a heart to the next generation, who sees the vision of passing His Word to his sons.  The image above shows a new phase in our family devotions, which changes its look every now and then and which did so this past week.  We have been meeting later each evening in the family room to listen to the Word on tape (yes, cassette tape--it's easier than CD because you can stop playing, and start right where you left off).  We listen to just a few chapters at a time, then have a time of family discussion and Bible study.  This has been such a rich time of conversation, now that the boys are older!  They have contributed to many fascinating and interesting discussions this past week.

We will not conceal them from their children,
But tell to the generation to come the praises of the LORD,
And His strength and His wondrous works that He has done.
Psalm 78:4 nasb

Secondly, as I sat at the computer this morning, contemplating this day, I remembered a similar day--the same date, actually--a long time ago, in a bedroom in my home, late at night.  A 16-year-old girl, without hope, desolate and dead in her sins, listened over the telephone as a friend shared Jesus with her.  And that night, God's salvation shone in her heart and filled her with the fullness of His grace as she prayed with her friend and surrendered her life to Jesus.

February 8, 1982
Born to New Life in Christ

And you wre dead in your trespasses and sins...
and were by nature children of wrath...
being rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us,
even when we were dead in our transgressions,
made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),
and raised us up with Him, and seated us with Him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus,
so that in the ages to come He might show the surpassing riches of His grace in kindness
toward us in Christ Jesus.

Ephesians 2:1-7 nasb [some verses partially quoted; red bold caps mine]

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Friday, February 4, 2011

FFG -- Simplicity and Purity


My sweet friend Lori hosts Friday Farm Girls @ Heart every week;
please click on her button to visit her blog
and to find out how you can participate!

Here on my suburban "farm," life buzzes all around me.  Not just within my home--which is more like a dull roar with five guys in it--but with the cars driving by, the busy main road just 50 yards away, the movie theater literally across the street, restaurants for every night of the week and then some, and all the "shopping," banks, and retail businesses within a quick five-minute walk.  Sometimes I forget about seeking the simplicity of a life serving God.  Here in the suburbs, it's important for me to see God's hand in simple things--a ladybug crawling on the wall, a timely phone call, the exact money I needed for groceries.  His handiwork and provision is all around me, and I just need to open my eyes and see it!

One day last week, Thomas called me to the kitchen area.  Our morning moments were filled with chattering birdsong as a flock of grackles settled on our snowy lawn, right next to our back yard windows.  I grabbed my camera--not just because I like photography, but because of my passion to capture the everyday wonders with which the Lord has blessed me.  And these birds were truly a wonder!

From past experience, I knew I had to photograph them through the window, since the slightest movement causes them to take flight.  There were literally hundreds of them, chattering away, digging through the snow for seeds and other food.  We watched them with delight, laughing (very quietly, mind you) at their antics, as more and more settled onto our lawn.  What a simple pleasure it was to just look and listen and enjoy the scene that God orchestrated for us.

The aspects of things that are most important for us
are hidden because of their simplicity and familiarity.
Ludwig Wittgenstein

Although Ludwig Wittgenstein was a philosopher--I don't put much stock in philosophy--I do like this quote attributed to him.  I tend to overanalyze things; I want to figure everything out and understand all aspects of an issue.  The Lord constantly brings me back to simplicity through trust in and devotion to Him.  It reminds me of the faith of a child--simple, unwavering trust and hope in the Lord.

Paul wrote of his concern for the Corinthians, that...

...your minds will be led astray from the simplicity and purity of devotion to Christ.
2 Corinthians 11:3b (nasb)

 One movement too many by me and--POOF!

Today I'm reminded to be simply, purely devoted to Him, and to recognize Him in the simple things in my life.  Every now and then I may experience a spectacular moment, event, or day.  But simple wonders surround me, if I quiet my heart and look.

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Tea Talk -- The Advantage of Knowledge

Welcome to my home!
Sit and share a cup of tea with me as we encourage each other in the Lord.
To participate, click on Ruth's button above.

I'm having...a cup of organic hot chocolate from Silly Cow Farms.  It is Chocolate Truffle.  I honestly can't remember where we got the little jar of yummyness!  A gift?  I don't know that we would've bought it for ourselves.  Either way, I've been preparing it for Jacob and Thomas for when they come home from broomball.

Chocolate Truffle hot chocolate with a dusting of mix on top

I'm feeling...a tad bit lethargic this morning, really this whole week.  I can't seem to get motivated to get things done.  I've let certain things--errands, chores, just things--sit for a little too long, and they're piling up.  Having a snow day yesterday didn't help--both Fernando and Jacob were home due to the snow.  Which was nice, really, but always messes with our routine!  But, God planned it, I whisper to myself.  :)

On my mind...I really should title this one My Checklist.  *grin*  Mail off a Photography Proposal, grade Thomas' algebra tests, finish the laundry from yesterday...  The list goes on, but that would be enough for today!

I leave you with...a passage I just read that spoke to my heart in these looming times.  We see the tide of evil growing in this world, especially here in the U.S. with those who would call evil good and good evil.  Just as the blizzard swept across our region of the country these past few days, men's hearts are turning cold toward God, and the land marches on toward judgment.  But God promises hope, and indeed we possess it, when we keep our eyes and hearts focused on Him.  He may yet send revival, and we are to be diligent in service and worship to Him.  This passage offered hope to me this morning.

Do not say, "Why is it that the former days were better than these?
For it is not from wisdom that you ask about this.
Wisdom along with an inheritance is good
And an advantage to those who see the sun.
For wisdom is protection just as money is protection,
But the advantage of knowledge is that wisdom
preserves the lives of its possessors.
Ecclesiastes 7:10-12 nasb

I pray that I don't look back wistfully to the past, but that I turn my eyes to the Rock of my Hope as I seek His wisdom.  This was a good passage to read today!

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography

Greetings from our wintry home!!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wintertime Word of the Day

The beginning

They said it would be huge.  They played it up all morning yesterday.  Hype, hype, hype chanted the news media.  But I gotta tell ya, the hype turned into reality these past 24 hours!  Which brings me to my word of the day:


Thundersnow is a rare kind of thunderstorm with snow, instead of rain, falling as the primary precipitation.

Before bed

It can also be called a winter thunderstorm or a thunder snowstorm.  I like the word thundersnow.  And whatever you call it, we saw the snow, we heard the wind (and saw its effects), we heard the thunder, and we saw the lightning.

Early this morning, and still snowing

Since I like photos so much (really??), I'm posting some "before/during/after" images.  Today, I love snow.

During/After -- Through the kitchen window...

During/After -- Backyard grill area...


Danny took this from an upstairs bedroom--looking into our back yard -- 9:00pm

Looking northwest from the master bedroom -- 10:00pm


Going out the patio door

Our mailbox

Our house (Fernando shoveled the driveway)

I don't think there will be any mail today...

Regarding the above outside images:  Fernando said I should take some pictures outside.  So I threw on my coat, grabbed my camera, and ran out.  I was wearing my jammies, my bathrobe, and slippers at the time, but a true photographer doesn't really care...

Back to life,

visit my photography blog!
christine anne photography