Monday, December 17, 2012

Book of the Week: Unstoppable by Nick Vujicic

Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action



Simply inspirational! If you are struggling with doubts, self-esteem, or just struggling to know that there is a purpose for you, then I strongly suggest you read this book. In Unstoppable: The Incredible Power of Faith in Action, Nick Vujicic addresses ways to put your faith in action. Nick is a man who lives an inspirational life of faith. Born without arms and legs, Nick has struggled with issues of self-esteem and purpose, but he has risen above them with the Lord's help to live a life of faith in action.

In his second book, he discusses the hard issues that keep us from truly living our destiny and living lives that show our faith in action. He talks about how God has a purpose of each and every one of us. He shares not only his own stories, but stories of people throughout the world who have inspired him. These are people who face struggles every single day of their lives, but they live with their lives focused on Christ and they put their faith into action even when it means that they are possibly in danger and out of their comfort zones. One of the stories that has really stuck with me after reading this book is the story of Jacqueline Isaac who lives in Egypt and fights for the rights of women through Egypt and Asia. She works to end the genital mutilation that happens to infant and young girls in these countries. Nick gives practical suggestions on how we can rise above our circumstances to live a life of faith in action. He touches on the topics of bullying, depression and other mental illnesses and how these struggles in life are things that we are meant to learn from. He addresses the need to give back and how to live a life of balance.

This book is a definite must read for anyone who wants to live a life of faith in action.

Friday, December 14, 2012

Where is He?

I'm reading a book on my iPhone when my sister asks me, "What happened in Connecticut?"

"I don't know."

I read for a few more minutes and then curiosity got the best of me and I go to the web browser on my phone and do a search for Connecticut. What I find out horrifies me!

Twenty-seven people are thought to be dead in a shooting at an elementary school.

As I am reading the tears well up in my eyes. I am crying for the families. I am crying for the children. I am crying for a community who is suffering. I am crying for the shooter.

It seems so senseless. It is so heartbreaking.

I am praying for the families. I am thinking about going to get the Princess from school early even though we live in a different part of the country. Partly from fear and partly from the need to be reassured. But I don't because it would just scare and upset her.

I keep wondering, "Where is He? Where is God? Can He be found even in this tragedy?"

In my heart, I know the answer. The answer is that He is there. In ways that we can't see or understand He is working. We can draw comfort from knowing that He is there, that He personally carried each one of His children into heaven.

He promises that even this can be used for good, that He can be glorified.

But even knowing this is I still cry. My heart still breaks. There is healing in tears and I believe that Jesus is weeping right along with me.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Thank you, Lord!

Thank the Lord! I'm able to write a post today although it will be short. My computer is not working so I haven't been able to post anything. Well, today I managed to get access to my grandmother's netbook and I am going to use it until I can get my computer back. I have had my grandmother's netbook in my possession for months because someone changed the administrator password on it and nobody bothered to write it down or text me with it and Grandma has trouble remembering passwords. Today I spent most of the day working on it and finally found a way to access the netbook without her password. So that is one thing that I am thankful for.

A second thing that I am thankful for is that my sister is home from the hospital today. She had to have back surgery yesterday. I am thankful that she is home and that she is doing well.

A third thing that I am thankful for is my niece and nephew. They have stayed with me for the last couple of days. We have had fun and I love spending time with them.

The Lord blesses and shows a way even when there does not appear to be a way.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Book of the Week: Master of Love

Master of Love

Master of Love is a historical romance set in the Victorian era. Callista is a young woman who is setting the Ton on its ear because she is a gentlewoman who is working as a bookseller and librarian in order to support her household. Her deceased father was the third son of a baron who ended up inheriting the title but no land or money came with it. She is a strong and confident woman who struggles with taking care of her family and asking for help when needed. When he passed away, Callista was left to support the family. She obtains work as a librarian for Dominic Avery, Viscount Rexton.

Dominic is a man who is hiding who he truly is from the world. As a child, he wasn't taken seriously as a student because of his looks and this continued on into adulthood even though he has a passion for philosophy and a brilliant mind. He is considered an "Adonis." He has a reputation as a rake and is called the "Master of Love." He is tired of thought of as a Lothario and as shallow when behind the mask lies a man of strength and intelligence.

Drawn to each other from the beginning, they struggle to come together as a couple. Misunderstandings abound until Callista's virtue and life are put in jeopardy. When they finally manage to come together, Callista  refuses to consider a future with Dominic until Dominic's life is threaten by his protege. Callista reveals Dominic's secret to the world in order to spare his life and finally agrees to be his wife.

I was drawn into the story of these two lovers from the very beginning. Catherine LaRoche creates dynamic, complex characters who are easy to relate to because of the struggles that they go through in order to be true to their selves. The one problem that I personally had with the story was that after Callista and Dominic came together Callista started using sex to manipulate Dominic when she wanted to avoid a discussion.  Master of Love is an exciting love story and I greatly enjoyed reading it.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Single Advent

I know that I am a day late with this. Advent started yesterday, but please forgive me. My computer is not working right now and I am writing this from my parents' computer.

Christmas is my absolutely favorite time of the year. For me, it has been a time of love, family, and remembrance of the One who gave His life for me. As single person, this time of year can be difficult though because I watch my friends and family with their kids and a part of me wishes that I had my own family and children to do these things with. This year I got to thinking though, "Why can't I as a single person celebrate Advent too?" So I took on the challenge of developing a calendar of activities that I as a single person can do in order to celebrate Advent.

Since I don't have my computer, I don't have the calendar to share right now, but I will be uploading it as soon as my computer is fixed. Instead, I am going to share the list of things that I came up with to do to celebrate Advent.

1. Make a special treat for a neighbor.
      
     One of the best things about this time of year is that it is a time of giving, and there are so many simple and inexpensive gifts that you can make. One of my favorite things to make for friends and neighbors is cookie mixes in a mason jar. You could also make up some cookie dough and freeze it. Paint an ornament.

2. Make a thank you gift for a community service worker (mailman, garbage collector, beautician, etc.).

    Create a plate of goodies (cookies, candies) and give to your mailman or take one to the local firehouse or police station.

3. Host a Christmas party!

    I know that there are so many activities going on this time of year, but what is more fun than having your friends and family over? There are so many great ideas for parties now too. You could have a birthday party for Jesus, a hot chocolate party, a cookie decorating party...the list can go on and on and on.

4. Grab some friends and go caroling!

    Grab some friends or  join the church choir, but go caroling. Take them around the community or visit a local nursing home.

5. Share a gift.

    There are so many children out there who do not families and wonder if they are going to get anything for Christmas. Visit a local store that has an Angel tree. Go shopping and buy clothes and toys for one of the children.

6. Light a candle.

     Ann Voskamp has become one of my favorite authors and speakers. On her blog A Holy Experience she has pictures of a wooden candelabra that her family uses to mark the days of Advent. For each day of Advent her family lights a candle and moves a wooden figure of Mary riding a donkey until Christmas day. You could set up your own by placing a row of candles along the mantel or a counter and lighting a new one everyday.

7. Bake and decorate Christmas cookies.


8. Find and read a new Christmas book.

   Visit the library or book store and find a new book to read.

9. Watch the movie The Nativity.

     Have a movie night. Curl up in your favorite pajamas and with your favorite snacks and put on your favorite Christmas movie. Mine is The Nativity.

10. Do a random act of kindness.

      Place candy canes at ATM's around town with a note. Buy a bunch of flowers and pass them out to people you see that appears to need a pick-me up. Pay for the person's purchases behind you at Quik Trip or McDonald's.

11. Drive around and view the Christmas lights.

      Grab your nieces and nephews or some friends and drive around to see the Christmas lights.

12. Volunteer! 

      Visit a school and read stories. Spend the day working at a local homeless shelter. Be a bell ringer for the Salvation Army. There are so many different organizations that are looking for people to volunteer. Do a little research and find the best fit for you.

13. Make a new Christmas ornament or decoration.

      I love to make things or to find a new way to use something old, but even the non-crafter can make a simple ornament. Just take a clear glass ornament and place a photo in it. My niece, nephew, and I made ornaments by putting paint in a clear glass ornament and shaking it around. Visit a local pottery shop and paint a ceramic ornament.

14. Do a prayer walk around your neighborhood or community.

       Take a walk around your neighborhood and pray for your neighbors.

15. Adopt a family.

      Many families cannot afford Christmas so find a family in need and adopt them for the holiday season. Buy them presents. Invite them over for Christmas dinner or buy them the food for the Christmas dinner.

16. Watch "The Nutcracker."

      Buy tickets to the local production of  The Nutcracker or if you can't afford that, look for a video recording of it.

17. Listen to Handel's "Messiah."

     Spend the day just worshiping and praising the Lord through song.

18. Write down 10 different ways God has provided for you.

      Even though Thanksgiving is over, we must not forget to have an attitude of gratitude. Make a list of 10 different ways that God has provided for you. Take photos of the things you have been gifted with.

19. Offer to babysit for a single mom or dad.

       Christmas can often be a harried time for the single parent. They are usually limited on time without the children so Christmas shopping can be difficult. Offer to babysit so that they can get their Christmas shopping done.

20. Decorate your tree.

       Just because you are single doesn't mean that you can't decorate for Christmas.

21. Go Christmas shopping.

      Spend the day shopping for presents for family and friends.

22. Read the story of the birth of Jesus.

      My favorite account of the story is in the book of Luke.

23. Create a playlist of your favorite Christmas songs.

      Download your favorite Christmas songs and create a CD or playlist for your iPod or mp3 player.

24. Send a Christmas card or a care package to a soldier.

       Our military works hard to protect our freedom show your thanks by sending out Christmas cards to some of the soldier or adopt a soldier and send him or her a care package with gifts and goodies.

25. Have a favorite things party with your girlfriends.

       In all of the stress of the holidays, it can be good to unwind with your girlfriends, married and single. Have a girls' night in. Ask each guest to bring their favorite things under $5 (enough for each guests so keep the numbers small) and their favorite snack and drink. Then just relax and enjoy being together.


Friday, November 30, 2012

I Am...

I wrote this a few months ago when I was feeling depressed and very invisible. Sometimes I still feel this way. For anyone who feels this way I just want you to know that you are not alone and you are not invisible. God is always with you and He always sees you.

I am the wallflower.
I am invisible.
I am the one is there, but not seen.
I am the "sweet" one, the one who everybody "likes" but nobody ever remembers to include.
I am the one who is expected to change my schedule and bend my wants and needs to accommodate others, but no one takes the time to accommodate me.
I am quietly sitting in the corner waiting to be noticed.
I am easily forgotten, the last on people's list.
I am the afterthought.
I am the one who works quietly in the background, who is only noticed when something goes wrong.
I am the shy one.
I am the quiet one.
I am the "goody-goody" that nobody likes.
I am the child who nobody loves.
I am the voice you hear crying in the night.
I am the silent one.
I am the reserved one.
I am the one who is afraid to make waves.
I am the one who is afraid to push in.
I am the one who cries when no one is watching.
I am caged, trapped by my own fears.
I am disabled.
I am challenged.
I am different from you.
I am the one who doesn't act like you want.
I am the one who doesn't say the right things.
I am struggling to speak.
I am struggling to be.
I am hurting.
I am aching.
I am ignored.
I am not noticed.
I am lost.
I am broken.
I am human.
I am capable of great love.
I am gifted.
I am talented.
I am unique.
I am an individual.
I am passionate.
I am a princess.
I am happy.
I am alive.
I am loved.
I am a daughter.
I am a sister.
I am strong.
I am intelligent.
I am capable.
I am an aunt.
I am a mother.
I am special.
I am the one who sees the best in others even when I can't see the best in me.
I am accepted.
I am known.
I am seen.
I am the one who Christ died for.
I am the one who has been forgiven much.
I am a daughter of God.


Monday, November 26, 2012

Frustrated

I have been very frustrated today. My phone was shut off last week and so I can only be on it when I am some place that has wifi. But to top it all off yesterday my computer stopped working. It didn't crash or anything like that, but it is not something easily fixed. So today I have been praying that The Lord will give me peace and help me accept these frustrations. As I told Addie, it is just the fertilizer that helps the fruit of the Spirit to grow.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Feather Rolls


While I loved the Parker House Rolls, they turned out to be a little crusty and dense for some of my family members.  My mom asked me to make rolls that were lighter and softer so I went looking for a recipe that was and I found the PERFECT SOFT ROLL RECIPE!!!!     It is a no knead recipe and I found it in the 1959 revised edition of the Fannie Farmer Cookbook. These rolls turned out so light and airy and delicious that Cowboy Carter (my nephew) ate about 3 full-size rolls and 3 baby rolls. These rolls were a big hit in my family, and they are so quick and easy to make! I will definitely be making them for the Boone Family dinner on Sunday.

 I will just say that I doubled the recipe and forgot to make sure that I had enough muffin tins for the rolls so some of the rolls where made by just dropping the batter on a cookie sheet which made them look more like biscuits than rolls and some of them were made in a mini muffin pan (the baby rolls). What can I say? I am a big picture person, not always a details person. J

Feather Rolls


1 cup warm milk (not hot)
1 package yeast
4 tablespoons soft butter or oil
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoon salt
1 egg
2 cups all-purpose flour


Put milk and yeast in mixing bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes. Stir well. 


Add butter, sugar, salt and egg. Mix until thoroughly blended. Stir in the flour. Dough will be sticky and gooey. 


Cover the dough and set aside in a warm place. Let rise until double, about 45 minutes.

Prepare muffin tins with butter. Stir down dough. Fill muffin tins half full. Set aside and let rise until muffin tins are full. 




Bake in 350º oven until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes.

                

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Happy Thanksgiving!!!



I hope that you all have a very blessed Thanksgiving day with your family and friends.


Photo from Called Magazine's Facebook page















Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Cultivating an Attitude of Gratitude




One of the things that I struggle with the most is a tendency to focus on the negative things in my life…no job, selling everything, not able to pay the bills, etc., but one of the things that the Lord is working on in me is having an attitude of gratitude in the hard times as well as the easy times. He is teaching me to not only be grateful for the good things but that there are things to be grateful for in the not so good things.

When I am worrying and fretting about things like finding a job, moving in to take care of my grandmother, and all those other things, I am telling the Lord that I don’t trust Him.

 I am saying to Him, “Lord, I can do better than You can do for me."

On the other hand…when I am grateful, I am telling the Lord that I do trust Him, that I am focused on Him and all the good things that He has brought into my life.

I am saying to Him, “Lord, You can do better for me than I can do for myself and that I know that You love me.”

One of the ways that I am working on cultivating an attitude of gratitude is by using Ann Voskamp’s 1000 Gifts app on my iPhone. I like it because I am a very visual person and I can add photos of what I am grateful for.

 I have seen other people who keep gratitude journals and write down something that they are grateful for everyday.

What are some of the ways that you cultivate an attitude of gratitude?

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why the BarnPrincess?


Well, I’ve taken the time to introduce myself. I’ve supplied you with a few recipes and a couple of books and devotions, but I’ve never taken the time to explain the name BarnPrincess. Well, the barn part comes from my love of barns…I love the smell, the atmosphere, etc. Older barns are the best. I’ve lived in a barn on the second story. We built the barn with an apartment. I would like to restore a barn one day and have even thought about what it would take to remodel an old barn or stable into a functional home. While I would not say that I am obsessed with barns, they are one of my favorite things and growing up they were where I spent a good deal of my time.

The princess part comes from the fact that I used to tell everyone that I am a princess. I truly believe that all women and girls are princesses, but I usually tell people that I am a princess because I am a daughter of the King of kings. I was adopted into His family and that makes me a princess. This is something that I used to share with the teen girls that I used to work with. I also wanted to teach them (and I’m never sure if I got it across) that being a princess and acting like a princess doesn’t mean that we are divas and need to have our own way, but rather being a godly princess means putting aside our own wants and desires and living the life that our Heavenly Father has laid out for us to live. It means loving others and treating them the way that we want to be treated.

Because of these two things, my family starting teasing me and calling me the BarnPrincess and it stuck…All glorious is the princess in her chamber—even if it is a barn. J

Monday, November 19, 2012

Book of the Week: Argosy Junction by Chautona Havig



I love reading. It is one of my favorite things to do. I love getting lost in a book. I love the places that a book can take you. I love the truths that you find in a book. When you read a book, it becomes a part of you. It helps to shape who you are and who you are becoming. Reading can be a retreat from the world or reading can bring you back to the world. Because of my love of reading I want to share this love of reading with you. Last week I posted my first ever book review and to be honest, well it turned out to be more of a synopsis of the book than a review of the book. This week will be different I promise.

This week’s book is titled Argosy Junction. It was written by Chautona Havig. The book is about how sometimes we get so caught up in our man made rules and judgments and comparing ourselves to others that we don’t see the damage we are causing until it is too late. In this story, Lane meets Matt who is a new Christian but who is strong in his faith and falls in love with him, but she refuses to have anything to do with his faith at first. Lane grew up in a church that forgot that Christianity is about loving God and loving others. They became cult-like in their faith. Everything had to be done the way everyone else was doing it or you weren’t considered a true Christian.  It became about who was the most spiritual or godly. In this story we see Lane grow as she struggles to come to grips with the hurts from the past from the church and her family and an acceptance of Jesus Christ as her Savior. We watch as she learns that Christianity is about rules and regulations but about the saving grace of Jesus, a man who gave up his life and overcame death so that we might truly live.

Chautona Havig paints a wonderful story of the struggle that most of us have when it comes to reconciling the saving grace of Jesus with trying to earn our way into heaven. She weaves together life in the inner city with life on a sheep farm. Her characters are relatable and lovable. Her stories will touch her heart and emotions. I cried in one part when Lane’s younger sister was comforting a prostitute. Chautona made me think about showing love to others and what can happen when we start comparing ourselves to other people. Read the book. You will be blessed by it.

For more information on Chautona Havig and her books visit: http://www.chautona.com.
To connect with Chautona online:

Friday, November 16, 2012

Movie Review: Breaking Dawn, Part 2





Now I am not a film critic and I don’t get to the movies very often, but last night I had the opportunity to go and see Breaking Dawn, Part II. I have to say that I LOOOVVEEEDDDD this movie!!! J But then again I also have to admit that I am a diehard Twilight fan.  The movie closely followed the book. There were a few noticeable differences at the end of the movie, but the differences just really enhanced the story and did not detract from it in any way. The movie brings to conclusion the story of Edward and Bella and Jacob in a happily ever after type of way.

I do have to say that while I loved the movie there were a few things that did detract from it for me. The opening credits are a long and drawn out series of videography that is meant to show the world from Bella’s newly opened vampire eyes. The problem I had with it is that while the video is beautiful. They could have shortened it and not lost any of the wonder. They also showed all of this before showing Bella or Edward so it wasn’t clear at first what the point of it was. They also didn’t place as much emphasis on Bella’s gift as a shield as the book did which disappointed me because in the book it was Bella and her gift that leads to Aro’s decision to leave the Cullens alone, but in the movie Bella is not the reason that he changes his mind. (And that is all I can say without giving away the ending of the movie. ;-) )

I do recommend the movie especially if you love the Twilight series. I do not recommend it for children 12 years or younger though. There is some violence and nudity that is inappropriate for young children. It is definitely not a family friendly movie.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Parker House Rolls



This recipe is one of my favorite recipes for rolls. The recipe originated at the Parker House,  a hotel in Boston.  I made them just yesterday for my mother. She works in a doctors’ office and the office was planning on having a special lunch today.  She asked me to make four dozen rolls! I had to find a recipe that was easy to multiply.

After preparing the rolls, I had to taste one. J My nephew was with me. He helped shape the rolls, and when I tasted one, I gave him a bite. He immediately asked for another one so they are 4-year-old approved!

Parker House Rolls


7 ½ teaspoons dry yeast (3 packages)
3 cups milk
12 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
6 tablespoons sugar
6 eggs, beaten
12 cups unbleached flour
6 teaspoons salt
Extra butter melted for glazing rolls and greasing baking sheets

Sprinkle yeast into 1 ½ cups of the milk in the bowl. Leave for 5 minutes; stir to dissolve. Warm the remaining milk in a saucepan with the butter and sugar. Stir until the butter has melted. Cool until lukewarm, then beat in the eggs until evenly combined.

Mix the flour and salt in a large bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in the dissolved yeast and the butter mixture. Mix in the flour to form a soft, sticky dough.

Turn the dough out onto a floured work surface. Knead until smooth, shiny, and elastic, about 10 minutes. Knead in extra flour, 1 tablespoon at a time, if the dough is too sticky. Resist adding too much flour, as the dough should not be dry, but soft.

Put the dough in a buttered bowl and cover with a dish towel. Let rise until doubled in size, 1 to 1 ½ hours. Punch down dough, then let rest for 10 minutes.

Shape the rolls as desired. Place the rolls on a buttered baking sheet. Proof until doubled in size, about 30 minutes.

Preheat the oven to 425º. Brush the tops of the rolls with melted butter. Bake rolls for 15 to 20 minutes, until golden and hollow sounding when tapped underneath. Cool on a wire rack.

 This recipe will make about 4 dozen rolls depending on the size of the rolls.

Monday, November 12, 2012

God Approves of You!




Last night I was reading my daily devotional on my YouVersion app. It was entitled God Approves of You! I want to share that devotional with you.

Nobody knows you as well as God does. Yet even though He knows everything about you, including all of your faults, He still approves of you and accepts you. God sees your heart, not just the exterior shell (the flesh) that seems to get you into so much trouble. He does not approve of your wrong behavior, but He is committed to you as an individual. God can hate what you do and yet love you. He has no trouble keeping the two separated.

God never intended for you to feel bad about yourself. He wants you to know yourself well and yet accept yourself. You must be able to say, "I can love what God can love. I don't love everything I do, but I accept myself because God accepts me." God is changing you daily. Ask Him to help you accept and love yourself in spite of your imperfections.

(From Ending Your Day Right by Joyce Meyer)

As I was reading this, the story of the adulterous woman kept coming to mind. In John 8, a crowd of people brings a woman who was caught is the act of adultery to Jesus in order to trap Him. They asked Jesus what they should do with the woman since the law demanded that she be stoned. Jesus stooped down and began to write on the ground. They continued to question Jesus and He said to them, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to thrown the stone." Then he stooped down and began writing on the ground once again. The crowd slowly began to disperse until only the woman and Jesus stood there. He stood up and asked her where the people had gone and had they not condemned her. She answered that no one had. His response was this "Neither do I condemn you. Go now and leave your life of sin."

To me this is a wonderful of story of how God approves of who we are but does not like what we do. He approves of  her, but because He does not like what she is doing, He tells her to stop living that lifestyle. This is my definition of unconditional love, accepting someone even if you don't agree with what they are doing.


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Book Review: Be Still My Soul



Be Still My Soul is the first book in the Cadence of Grace series by Joanne Bischof. It is a beautifully written story about two young people who are forced to marry after her father sees them kissing. It takes place in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia in the early 1800’s. Lonnie is a young woman of 17 years who loves the Lord, but earns to be loved because she came from a home where she was abused. Her husband, Gideon, is a young man of 22 years who is fighting against a belief in God and who refuses to take responsibility for his actions when things don’t go his way. When Gideon becomes abusive as he and Lonnie are traveling to Stuart so that he can find work, an older gentleman named Jebediah steps in and then offers Gideon and Lonnie a place to call home. As Jebediah states throughout the book, Gideon “has a few lessons he still needs to learn.” As Gideon grows closer to Lonnie, he also grows closer to a belief in God. This is a wonderful book about a young woman’s faith that God will provide and a young man’s struggle to become the man that he is supposed to be. 

Friday, November 9, 2012

November is National Adoption Month


“Religion that is pure and undefiled before God, the Father, is this:
To visit orphans and widows in their afflictions,
And to keep oneself unstained from the world.”
~~James 1:27


One of my dreams has always been to adopt. While the Lord has not yet seen to bless me with this opportunity, I pray that in future He opens the door for this dream to be fulfilled. In His Word, He admonishes us to care for the orphans and widows. I have done a lot of research into the process of becoming a foster parent and adoption. I want to share some of those resources with you today.

Show Hope is a Christian organization that promotes adoption. It was founded by Steven Curtis Chapman and his family. While they do not provide adoption services, they do provide information and resources on the process of adoption and the need for orphan care around the world. Visit http://www.showhope.org for more information.

The Christian Family Services is an organization in Overland Park, KS that helps mothers-to-be and families interested in adoption. They are licensed in both Missouri and Kansas to aid families in the adoption process.  For more information visit http://www.cfskc.org.

Other sources for information on adoption in Missouri include:
Bethany Christian Services http://www.bethany.org
All Blessings International http://www.allblessings.org
Adopt Us Kids is a photolisting of children who are currently available for placement in Missouri. http://www.adoptuskids.org/states/mo/index.aspx
Cornerstones of Care also offers foster care and adoption placement services in the Kansas City area. For more information visit http://www.cornerstonesofcare.org/

Please take the time to pray and consider adoption. There are many children out in the world who are in need of love and a family.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Who is the BarnPrincess?


I realized recently that I have never taken the time to introduce myself and to tell you about who I am so that is what today’s blog is about.

My name is Misty Boone. I am a 37-year-old, single, Christian woman. I have never been married, and  I don’t have any children although my niece says that I am “like a parent.” I have a niece and a nephew who I get to spend a lot of time with. I don’t think of myself as shy, but I tend to be introverted and quiet especially in a group setting. One –on-one I have a tendency to relax more and be more outgoing. I love to read. I will usually read anything that is suggested to me, but my personal taste does run more towards non-fiction and romance. I love to craft and repurpose things. I usually always have a crochet project in the works as well as several books that I am trying to get read. I enjoy sewing, embroidery, and painting as well. I like cooking and baking.

Up until last May, I taught preschool. I love the children that I have taught, but it recently came to me that I don’t love the directions that our schools are heading and the lack of discipline in them so I decided that it was time for a change. Right now I am trying to get this blog going, and I have started selling books and gifts online through Amazon marketplace. I am also trying to find work to support me until I get everything else going. Unfortunately, I am having a hard time finding a job. I am also in the process of searching for my calling. I always thought that I was called to work with children and to a certain extent I still believe, but I don’t believe that I am supposed to teach preschool anymore which is one of the reasons that I am having difficulty finding work.

Quickie Facts

1.       I’m 37 years old.
2.       My birthday is in September.
3.       My favorite color is red…not fire engine red, but a deep red like the color of burgundy wine.
4.       My favorite book is the Bible.
5.       I am most passionate about my faith.
6.       I am also passionate about children and families.
7.       I like to crochet.
8.       I like to sew.
9.       I like to do crafts in general.
10.   I love to read.
11.   I like to dance.
12.   I like to cook. My favorite recipe is chicken parmesan.
13.   I like to bake. My favorite thing to bake is snickerdoodles.
14.   I like the outdoors, camping, and horseback riding.
15.   I enjoy exploring old barns.
16.   I am learning to garden. Until recently I couldn’t seem to grow anything, but in the last couple of years I have actually managed to keep plants alive all summer.

So what about you guys? Introduce yourself to me and tell me a little bit about you. I love making new friends.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Chicken with Potatoes


I have not tried a lot of Greek food before. I have mainly eaten gyros at local fairs and festivals, but I found this recipe for Chicken with Potatoes in an old Kansas City Star magazine. It was submitted by Mrs. Adam Kanas. I think I fell in love with this recipe. I will definitely be making it again.

Chicken with Potatoes


4 large potatoes, julienne
3-pound chicken, cut up
¾ stick butter
Salt
Pepper
¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon paprika
½ can tomato sauce
1 ½ cups water

Flour and brown chicken quickly in butter in large skillet. Remove from pan. Sprinkle potatoes with salt, pepper, paprika, and cayenne. Sauté potatoes in the same skillet until well coated. Place potatoes in large baking pan. Place chicken over potatoes. Bring tomato sauce and water to a boil in the skillet. Add to the chicken and potatoes. Bake covered for 10 minutes. Then bake uncovered for 20 minutes or more at 375 degrees. Add small amount of water, if needed.

Monday, November 5, 2012

My Drowning Experience


This weekend at the Women of Faith conference I received a copy of Sheila Walsh's new book God Loves Broken People (And Those Who Pretend They're Not) as a gift from a new friend. I started reading the book and one of the things that Sheila talks about in the first chapter is how we go through periods of life where we feel like we are drowning. We are waving and waving, waiting for someone to notice that we struggling, but the people who see just wave back and walk on. One of the things that she asked us to do is to write down our own drowning experiences. I decided to share mine with you so that you will see that if you feel like you are drowning in the circumstances of life you are not the only one.

My drowning experience started five years ago, and honestly on most days I still feel like I am drowning. The first wave that hit me was closing my daycare center. Opening my own child care center was a dream come true and I worked hard to make it come true and was very successful at first so deciding to close the center was a difficult decision. The second wave that hit was a much larger wave and it close behind the first one. I had fallen in love and I thought he loved me too and that we were going to get married. One weekend he was asking me to marry him. The next weekend he was breaking up with me, and the weekend after that he was engaged to someone else. This sent me into a long period of depression and struggle in my relationship with the Lord. A third wave shortly followed and while not as big as the second it left me doubting myself. I was accused of something that I didn't do at work and even though I was found innocent in the investigation I still lost my job. I spent the next year struggling with depression and self-doubt plus I was experiencing financial difficulties because I was unable to sell the building that my child care center was in. 

After a while the sea of my life smoothed out for a while, but I still felt like I was struggling, barely treading water. I moved in with my parents for a while. They lost their jobs and their house with it. Then we moved to Kansas City which is something I didn't want to do. While living with my parents, I had started grad school and was working on my Master's degree. After moving to Kansas City, I got a job full-time and was in school full time. Then for the first time ever I failed a class. My studies were one of the few things that I took pride in. I never failed. I was always at the top of the class. Shortly after that I lost my job again and for once again it was for something that I didn't do. Then my grandma ended up in the hospital. After I was finished caring for my grandmother, my sister fell and broke her leg. After she was well enough to get around and take care of her family, I became extremely sick. 

After I recovered, things smoothed out again for a while. I got another job and really enjoyed my work. After four months, I received a promotion, but then the wave started hitting again. I was teaching preschool, but I was teaching children who had been very traumatized in one way or another. I was dealing with their behaviors and I was taking stuff home with me. I was working about 80 hours per week but was only getting paid for about 50 of those hours. Because of the behaviors in the classroom, I had to take all of my paperwork home with me. I started having problems sleeping. I stopped eating. I lost 25 pounds in 1 month. I was suffering from something called compassion fatigue, also known as secondary post-traumatic stress disorder. When things settled down in the classroom, I struggled to recover. I went to counseling, but the waves didn't stop. Since November 2011,  about 15 of my family members, friends, and acquaintances have passed away including my grandfather and two of my cousins, one who was only 24 years old and the other one was only three weeks older than me. 

During this time, I have made some bad decisions in a relationship that should never have been more than friendship. I ended up pregnant, and I ended up miscarrying the baby. I found out that I have a condition that will make it hard for me to ever have a baby. Things started to go wrong at work. I ended up quitting my job because I was just done and decided to change careers. Now I am still looking for work, struggling to find myself again and my purpose and calling. I am struggling financially, physically, and emotionally. Most of the time I feel like I am barely able to keep my head above the water. 

But one of the things that the Lord has been bringing home to me in the last few months is that He has always been there, that He can use all of this for His glory, and that He wants me to not just tread water, but to soar. Like the surfer in the photo depends on his board to carry him safely to the shore, the Lord wants to be my surfboard and wants to carry me through the waves of this life. I am tethered to Him like many surfers tether themselves to their boards so that even if knocked off coarse I cannot be separated from Him. See the Lord doesn't promise that we will never face the waves. In fact, He promises the opposite, but He also promises that He will carry us through the waves and see us safely to the shore.



Saturday, November 3, 2012

Women of Faith

This weekend was the Women of Faith conference in Kansas City so I want to share a few pieces of advice and reminders that I received this weekend.

1) God wants us to praise Him in the middle of the storm as well as in the good times.

2) Every single one of us has an emptiness that only God can fill. Food, sex, men, drugs, or whatever you put before your relationship with God will only fill that emptiness for a short time. Only God can fill that hole permanently.

3) Build up an arsenal to fight Satan's lies. Sheila Walsh suggests writing Bible verses on 4x6 cards and carrying them with you.

4) God lavishes His love upon us.

5) Liz Curtis Higgs suggests that every morning after you get ready stand in front of the mirror and say, "Tada!" She says that it can be life changing.

6) When all we see is dirt, all God sees is hope because He has plans for us.

7) No matter how lost you feel or how far away from God you seem to be He chose you and He can use you.

8) Salvation is all a work of God. It is not about being good enough.

9) Walk Chosen

10) Treat every moment as a gift because that is what it is. Every moment is a gift from the one who took our place and died in our stead.

11) We are all in this together. You are not alone. Christ walks with you and everyone of us is broken.

12) Live fully alive in Christ.

13) God loves broken people.

14) In our weakness, The Lord provides His strength.

15) God's plans for us are greater than our own.

16) Trust Him!

17) Be a living sacrifice.


Monday, October 22, 2012

Carving Pumpkins

One of the best ways to celebrate the season is by carving pumpkins. Tonight after dinner my sister and I carved pumpkins for Addie and Carter. Addie decided that she wanted an MU jack-o-lantern, and Carter's pumpkin has a spooky face.

Friday, October 12, 2012

I'm so Grateful

12 Things that I am Grateful for Today


  1.  My relationship with Jesus Christ because it is the most important relationship in my life. As Citizen Way says...it should've been me.
  2.  My mom because she is always there for me when I need her.
  3.  My dad because he tells it like it is and is always encouraging me (in his own way) to be the best that I can be
  4. My sister Kimi because she has become one of my best friends. We can talk about anything and she bought me a ticket to Breaking Dawn Pt. 2.
  5.  My brother-in-law Brad because he cares. 
  6.  My niece Addie because she loves to cuddle and makes me laugh. Yesterday she was singing in the car which isn't unusual but she was singing "Addie and Kyle sitting in a tree k-i-s-s-i-n-g." Of course she is only 6 and way to young for a boyfriend which is why it was funny.
  7.  My nephew Carter because he is so silly. He is my little cowboy. 
  8.  My grandmothers because they have taught me so much. From one I have learned how to cook and about crafting. From the other I have learned about myself and how I want to treat others.
  9.  My friend Lisa because she is so encouraging and supportive. I consider her one of my mentors. She is a great example of a godly woman.
  10. Having a place to live because so many people in this world don't have a roof over their heads and I'm so close to not having a place to live that I'm grateful that I still do.
  11. Having a car to drive because I can take my niece to school everyday.
  12. For all of the people in my life because in one way or another you have helped me to become the person I am.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

It's Been One of Those Weeks

Have you ever had one of those weeks where it feels like nothing is going right, but at the same time nothing is really going wrong? The small things that happen are irritating, but nothing really terrible. It just all adds up and you end up feeling like everything is wrong.

Well, that has been what this week has been like for me. I started the week upbeat and positive. I am ending the week upbeat and positive, but this week has been a comedy of errors. I had everything planned out for the week, and I tried to stick to the plan. Of course, nothing went as planned.

 My plans for the blog this week included a pork chop recipe, homemade donuts, and a couple of other things. Well, I fixed the pork chop recipe, and it didn't turn out how I expected it to turn out. The recipe called for a can of sweet potatoes or yams. Well, since nobody in my family likes sweet potatoes that well (especially the canned ones). I substituted fresh sweet potatoes. Well, they ended up not cooking in time and I ended up having to add butter and a couple of ingredients that were not in the recipe to add flavor to the sweet potatoes. The recipe made a sauce for pork chops and the sweet potatoes, but following the measurements given I ended up with only about 3 tablespoons of the sauce. Then I realized that I didn't have the camera and couldn't take pictures of it. Not a big deal, right? I can just use my phone. Well....I used up all of the memory on my phone and couldn't take pictures on it either. :-)

Tuesday's plans were cancelled and Wednesday I woke up with a sore throat and sinus infection so the last thing I want to do is cook because I don't want to expose my family and friends to my illness. So there went all of my blog plans for the week.

See!!! Nothing to big or major, but enough to make me feel like I haven't accomplished anything.

But then I read a Facebook post today that made me look at things a little differently. It made wonder what type of troubles I would have had to face if things had gone the way I had planned. Everything happens for a reason and most of the times it seems like the Lord puts things in our way to prevent something from happening or to teach us something. It is really hard to it at times and to be thankful, but that is something that I am working on.

What is something that you are thankful for that didn't seem good at first?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Love Letters from Jesus




One of the things that I really struggle with is feelings of insecurity. I forget who I am, I forget whose I am, and I forget that I am loved. One of the ways that I have started battling this lately is by making a book that I am calling Love Letters from Jesus. In this book I am recording reminders of who I am in Christ. I am recording Bible verses and things that people say to me that encourage me, but I write them down in letter format and sign them from Jesus.

Some of my letters:




Things needed to make:
Smash book
Pen or fine tipped Sharpie marker
Scrapbook paper (I cut my paper into 3x3 squares.)
Paper cutter
Glue
Anything else you want to add to make it your own

Gather what you need to make your book and then it is as simple as occasionally writing simple love letters to yourself from Jesus. I usually do this when I am doing my Bible study or devotional. But occasionally I will add something as it comes to mind during the day.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Grandma Mills' Oatmeal Cookies


I love cookies, all types of cookies, but I have never really cared for oatmeal cookies. There is only one recipe for oatmeal cookies that I will use and that I will eat. It is the favorite recipe of all my aunts, uncles, and cousins on my mom’s side of the family. And according to my family, nobody but my sister and I can make them the way that Grandma did. So today I’m going to share with you, my great-grandmother’s recipe for oatmeal cookies and I hope that you will love them as much as my family does.

OATMEAL COOKIES

½ cup shortening or butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups oats, uncooked
1 ¼ cup chocolate chips  or 1 cup Spanish peanuts (optional)

Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in beaten egg, water & vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients, oats, & chocolate chips (if desired). Bake in a moderate oven (375 degrees) for 8 to 10 minutes.

Because one of the things that I love to do is play around with recipes, I made the original recipe of Oatmeal Cookies for my family. Then I played around with the recipe and made Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal Cookies.

APPLE CINNAMON OATMEAL COOKIES

½ cup shortening or butter
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup granulated sugar
1 beaten egg
1 tablespoon water
½ teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sifted flour
½ teaspoon soda
½ teaspoon salt
1 ½ cups oats, uncooked
1 cup apples, chopped
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Cream shortening and sugar. Stir in beaten egg, water & vanilla. Add sifted dry ingredients, oats, apples & cinnamon. Place by teaspoonful onto cookie sheet. Bake in moderate oven (375 degrees) for 8 to 10 minutes.la. Add sifted dry ingredients, oats, & chocolate chips (if desired

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Roast Beef Teriyaki


I love the taste of teriyaki and I love roast beef so when I found this recipe and thought that it sounded so good I decided I would try it, but I’m going to admit that I changed most of the steps for making the roast. I simply seared the roasts and then placed them in a slow cooker and then added the marinade on top. It changed a 10+ hour process into 15 minutes of prep and then into the slow cooker to cook the rest of the day.

ROAST BEEF TERIYAKI

6-pound rolled rib roast of beef
2 cups beef broth
2/3 cup soy sauce
½ cup red wine
¼ cup green onions, chopped fine
3 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 teaspoons powdered ginger
2 cloves garlic, crushed

Place meat in a deep bowl. Mix together broth, soy sauce, wine, green onions, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger and garlic. Stir marinade until sugar dissolves. Pour it over the meat and cover with foil. Place in the refrigerator overnight or for at least 10 hours. Turn meat occasionally. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Remove meat from marinade and place on a rack set in bottom of a foil-lined roasting pan. The foil is important, as the marinade tends to burn on the bottom of the pan. Pour marinade into a saucepan and set aside. A meat thermometer should be used. Allow approximately 32 minutes a pound for rare, 38 minutes a pound for medium. While cooking, brush the meat three or four times with the marinade. Allow meat to set 20 minutes after removing from oven. Before serving, heat remaining sauce and pour into bowl to serve with meat. Serves 8.

The way I made the roast:
I seared the roast on all sides for color. Then I placed the roast in the slow cooker. I mixed the beef broth, soy sauce, red wine, green onions, brown sugar, lemon juice, ginger and garlic. Then I poured the mixture over the roasts. I turned the slow cooker on low and cooked the roast for about 8 hours. Take it out and let it rest about 20 minutes before slicing. 



I saved the marinade that the roast cooked in and used it to make a gravy. I also added potatoes to the roast after it had been cooking for a couple of hours. My family really enjoyed it and the next day I used the left overs to make a vegetable beef stew which was also a hit.


Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Happy October!


I love autumn! I love the changing colors of the trees, the cooler temperatures, the campfires or fire pits, the apples, the pumpkins, and the food! Hot chocolate, doughnuts, apple fritters, apple cake, apple butter, applesauce…did I mention apples?
Today’s recipe is fresh apple cake. I found this recipe in the Kansas City Star Magazine, October 24, 1971. It was submitted by a Mrs. Frank C. Farrell of Kansas City. I followed her recipe very closely because this is the first time that I have ever made a cake from scratch. I will admit that since I am not a fan of pecans that my finished cake will not have the pecan frosting.



FRESH APPLE CAKE

1 ½ cups flour, sifted
2 teaspoons soda
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup butter or margarine
1 ½ cups sugar
4 cups apples, pared and cut to pea size
1 cup dry oatmeal or bread crumbs

Sift together flour, soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Into mixture blend butter and sugar until fluffy. Add eggs. Stir in apple and oatmeal. Bake in a well-greased, 13 x 9 inch pan at 350 degrees for about 40 minutes or until golden brown.

PECAN FROSTING

2 ½ tablespoons flour
½ cup milk
½ cup butter or margarine
½ cup sugar
½ cup pecans

Measure flour into sauce pan. Add milk slowly stirring until smooth. Cook over low heat stirring constantly until thick. Set aside to cool. Blend butter and sugar. Beat until fluffy. Add flour mixture and beat until light and of spreading consistency. Spread on cake. Sprinkle with pecans.


I used caramel sauce to top the cake instead of the pecan frosting. It was a hit with my family.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Ozark Pudding





As I was reading through recipes, I found a recipe for Ozark Pudding. When I told my parents that I had found it, my mom told me that it was one of my dad’s favorite desserts so I made it for the family the other night. When it bakes it forms a crust, and my niece Addie liked the crust so much that she picked at it all evening long. J I had heard of Ozark Pudding, but never tried it. I ended up really enjoying it although I will admit to the fact that I probably would have enjoyed it better without the nuts. Dessert was a big hit that night. Next time I think I will double the recipe.


Mrs. Harry S. Truman’s Ozark Pudding

1 egg
1 ¼ teaspoon baking powder
½ cup chopped nuts (I used walnuts.)
1 teaspoon vanilla
¾ cup sugar
2 tablespoons flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
½ cup raw chopped apples

Beat the egg and sugar for a considerable time, until it is very smooth. Mix flour, baking powder and salt and then stir into sugar-egg mixture. Add apples, nuts, and vanilla. Bake in a buttered pie pan in 350-degree oven for 35 minutes. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream. A little rum flavoring may be added, if desired.

Kansas City Star Magazine cookbook, October 24, 1971

Variations I thought of:
  • Make individual puddings in ramekins.
  • Use pecans instead of walnuts.
  • For those who don’t like nuts, leave them out and double the apples.
  • Add cinnamon, nutmeg, or apple pie seasoning.



Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Taco Meatloaf




While I was going through notebooks with recipes written down by my great-grandmothers, I came across a “cookbook” from the Kansas City Star Magazine. This cookbook was dated October 24, 1971, and it has many recipes that were submitted by cooks from throughout the Kansas City metro area. One of the recipes that caught my fancy was a taco meatloaf. I love tacos and I love meatloaf so I thought why not. The recipe was submitted to the Kansas City Star by a Mrs. Ray G. Roberts from Overland Park, KS.

 I made this as the main dish for our Monday night family dinners. Almost every Monday night, my parents, I, my sister, brother-in-law and my niece and nephew get together for a family dinner. Since I am starting this blog, my family is going to be the guinea pigs of any recipes that I try out. The taco meatloaf was a hit with them.

Parentheses indicate the changes that I made to the recipe.

TACO MEATLOAF

2 pounds ground chuck
1 cup crushed taco shells (I used Fritos.)
1/3 cup taco sauce
2 tablespoons taco spice
1 egg
½ cup Monterey jack cheese, crumbled (shredded)

Combine all ingredients. Press into loaf pan or ring mold. Bake at 375 degrees for 60 minutes. Pour off excess fat. Return to oven about one minute. (I added taco sauce to the top of the meatloaf before returning it to the oven.)

To vary the oven for hamburgers: Omit egg and Monterey Jack cheese. Make hamburger patties as usual, rolling them a little thin. Top with cheddar cheese after frying and serve on a bun with taco sauce.

Some variations that I thought of while making the meatloaf:
  • ·         Use ground turkey or chicken for a healthier option
  • ·         Crush more taco shells to add to the top of the meatloaf for a garnish and to add a little crunch.
  • ·         Make a taco meatloaf taco by placing a slice of meatloaf in a taco shell and then topping with your favorite taco toppings.
  • ·         Using crushed tortilla chips instead of taco shells.