Friday, December 19, 2014

Cranberry-Orange Cake

I found this it in a Christmas with Country Living 1997 book I've been browsing through lately. It was so easy and turned out wonderful. Everyone especially loved the candied orange rind and cranberries. Oh yea and I found some tiny little cranberries here in Croatia and they worked wonderfully and I didn't have to chop them, just put them in whole.

Anyhow, since I'm super lazy and wasn't about to retype an entire page of text I copied it and made it into a PDF for easy printing.

Cranberry-Orange Cake PDF

This is a great holiday cake and went over super well with the Croats and they're a tough crowd to please.

reposted from 2009

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Free Gift Tags Round Up!

I want to share something with you all, don't be shocked, it'll be okay, here goes....I'm cheap! I love to save money and that brings us to this post. I have all most some of my Christmas gifts purchased already and wrapping them is next on my agenda. So going along with my cheap theme, here are several links to some great printable Christmas gift tags. Remember the more we save the more Starbucks we can have! So here goes in no particular order.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

A Thoughtful Gift

The other day I walked to the mailbox expecting my normal store circulars and maybe a phone bill and I was pleasantly surprised by a package from Spain. Olé!! But wait, there's more! It was addressed to....wait for it....ME! We don't often get mail from outside of Croatia so this was very exciting. 

My new friend Lou Ann from In the Way blog sent me one of her books! Are you kidding! And not only did she send me one of her sweet books she also signed it to me! I feel so cool to know the author of a book. So who is Lou Ann? Glad you asked. 

Lou Ann Keiser is a pastor's wife, mother of two married children, and grandmother who lives in a quaint little village in Europe. Her thirty years of ministry to women urged her to compile biblical counsel in her debut book, His Ways, Your Walk. Lou Ann's great loves are: her Lord, the Bible, her family, nature, art, and music. She is an avid reader and blogger.

The one thing her bio didn't say is that she's been a missionary in Spain for 30 years. Anyhoo, the book is called His Ways, Your Walk and it's a Bible application book for women. 

A biblical manual for women of all ages. This book helps you make the connection between the key Bible passages for women and your own Christian experience. It helps you see what the Bible says about the Christian life. Enjoy finding out how you can walk in God's ways!
Clearly, as with any book you read, you'll find somethings you strongly agree with and some that maybe you don't but the important thing to remember is that there are gems to be had. The only book that we will ever agree with 100% is the one we write. I haven't finished the book but I know it's gonna be a blessing. 

You can purchase His Ways, Your Walk through Amazon. Be sure to check out In the Way blog, Lou Ann, has some great posts and she's a wonderful writer. 

The above quotes were taken from Lou Ann's bio and book description on Amazon. 


Monday, December 15, 2014

Expanded Sunday Review Monday

I'm expanded my Sunday Review Monday to include the entire weekend. The truth is, I didn't take many photos from Sunday so for this to be an interesting post I'm gonna need to borrow from the rest of the weekend. *wink*

We (my honey and I plus Hannah and another church lady who had business to do in the capital) started out early Friday morning by heading to the capital to start the dental process for our Hannah to get her implant. She was born without a tooth, just never developed so she's been wearing braces to straiten her teeth that moved into the open space and make room for an implant. I'm thanking the Lord that implants here in Croatia are a fraction of the cost in the States and they're awesome about letting us pay as we go. Anyhoo, she's super excited about finally having a complete smile and since she's already adorable, she'll be even cuter. 

We found these cute cutouts at the mall and had to try them out. I think Hannah liked having Dad as her helper. 

The above photo is true to life!

Hannah also ran into some girlfriends at the mall. My kids have always loved Legos.

Saturday was our annual church Christmas party. We had a ball watching some of our newer folks play games. Cooperation games are so fun cause true natures come out with frustration. 

Daniljela and Jurica were our winners of the gift wrapping game. They work very well together. 

The above lady is Baka (grandma). She's only 55 but she insists on everyone calling her Grandma. She's one of the most loving and giving ladies I've ever met. She has an endless supply of love for anyone who comes to our church. She's a greeter extraordinaire. This is her and Krešo, our most faithful Gypsy man. He is a huge blessing and his love of the Lord is almost unreal. He has grown so much in the past year and we are anticipating that God is going to use him to reach the Gypsy people of Croatia with the blessed Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

We are always thrilled when Pastor Rich Telebar and his sweet family come from Stablo Života Independent Baptist Church in Čakovec to be with us. He and his wife are our dearest friends in Croatia. Brother Rich is playing potato hockey with his son Ruben. 

Oh yea and one of the things we made for the party was a hot cocoa bar. We had the hot cocoa mix along with whipped cream and 5 different sprinkles. The kids loved it and it was super easy to make. 

  • 5 cups of dry milk
  • 1/2 C plus 6 Tbsp of coffee creamer
  • 1/2 C plus 6 Tbsp of unsweetened cocoa
  • 2 1/2 cups of powdered sugar

Combine well all ingredients in a large bowl. 
Store in airtight container in cool dry place for up to 6 months. 
Makes about 25 C servings.
Combine ⅓ cup of this mix with ¾ cup of boiling/hot water.
Top with whipped cream and sprinkles for an enhanced experience!

This recipe tastes like the real stuff! I was surprised that it was so authentic tasting, you'd never know it was homemade. It's be great as a jar gift. Oh yea and I'm linking up with Tasty Tuesday over at New Mrs. Adventures and Ladybug Blessings.  

Sunday morning I sat in on SS with my daughter hannah and missionary Melissa houston. It was great! I was so impressed with Hannah and Melissa has done a wonderful job teaching her. Melissa will be headed to the States tomorrow morning to spend Chrsitmas with her family so I'll be her fill-in till she returns. 

Right now our SS only has 6 young 'uns but it's growning. We would love to run a van route to pick up children but it's not possible here in Croatia. The truth is that the Baptist church is considered a cult here and the truth is it's very difficult to get Croats to come to church much less them send their children. So our little SS class is made up of drive in walk in folks. 

We have traditional services at the church Sunday mornings and evenings just like in the States but we also have a 4 o'clock meeting in a nearby Gypsy village. The meeting is in the early stages but we are confident that God is going to do something great here and we're praying that he would use us and our brother Krešo to do it. 

Anyhoo, as much as I love our annual Christmas party and all the fun, I'm sure glad it's over. It's amazing how you can prepare for something like that for a week and it's over in a few hours. 

So that is my expnded Sunday Review Monday. Hope you guys had a great weekend too!!


Thursday, December 11, 2014

A Greeting for The Season

To All My Democrat Family and Friends:

Please accept with no obligation, implied or implicit, my best wishes for an environmentally conscious, socially responsible, low-stress, non-addictive, gender-neutral celebration of the winter solstice holiday, practiced within the most enjoyable traditions of the religious persuasion of your choice, or secular practices of your choice, with respect for the religious/secular persuasion and/or traditions of others, or their choice not to practice religious or secular traditions at all. I also wish you a fiscally successful, personally fulfilling and medically uncomplicated recognition of the onset of the generally accepted calendar year 2015 but not without due respect for the calendars of choice of other cultures whose contributions to society have helped make America great. Not to imply that America is necessarily greater than any other country, nor the only America in the Western Hemisphere . Also, this wish is made without regard to the race, creed, color, age, physical ability, religious faith or sexual preference of the wish.

To My Republican Family and Friends:

Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Monday, December 08, 2014

Happy 43rd Johnny

Today I want to wish my dearest friend in the world a happy 43rd birthday. I've been so blessed to spend 23 of those years with him and I can't imagine my life with out him. 
To celebrate his 43 years of life on this Earth I'm gonna share 43 (yes I know that's a lot) things I love about him. 

I love Johnny because...

1. he loves the Lord with his whole heart. 
2. he is real!
3. he is amazingly faithful. 
4. has always makes me feel like the most beautiful woman in the room. 
5. my heart safely rests in his hands. 
6. he has always built me up. 
7. he is a wonderful kisser. *wink*
8. he knows me better than I know me and he still loves me. 
9. he is a wonderful father. 
10. he practices what he preaches. 
11. he is gentle. 
12. he loves those who are unlovable. 
13. our story was clearly orchestrated by God. 
14. I know that next to Jesus I am his favorite person in the world. 
15. he has never, ever let me down. 
16. he has kept none of his heart from me.
17. he is content with God's will for his life. 
18. he has never made me feel anything but priceless. 
19. he is not a quitter, ever!
20. he is long suffering. 
21. Jesus is his first Love. 
22. his life is a true reflection of God's grace. 
23. he sees the possibility in all people. 
24. he is a forever faithful a Cowboys fan, win or lose. 
25. he has made me realize that I am precious.
26. he is an amazing preacher, my favorite!
27. he applauds anything I try to do. 
28. when he laughs he has the most amazing lines around his eyes, be still my heart
29. his smile is amazing!
30. the Bible is real and his most valued possession. 
31. he lives by principles and believe them. 
32. he believes what he preaches.
33. he gives the most amazing hugs. 
34. he is incredibly thoughtful.
35. his blue eyes make my knees weak. 
36. he was responsible for getting me to Jesus. 
37. he walks with the Lord daily. 
38. he doesn't realize how amazing he is. 
39. he would give the shirt off his back for someone in need. 
40. he loves to cuddle. 
41. he is an amazing missionary who considers it an honor. 
42. he loves me for me. 
43. he is unselfish.

I know this was a mushy post but he really is that amazing! 
Happy 43rd Johnny!!!


Thursday, December 04, 2014


The other day while out shopping I noticed that some of the stores already had Christmas stuff on the shelves and I was surprised to find these two looking up at me. In the major part of Europe there is some sort of tradition surrounding Saint Nikolas day on December 6th and Croatia isn't any different. The first time my kids were in town and the devil came up to them, they all burst out in tears, not exactly child friendly. Even little kids know what evil is when they see it and it's nothing to be laughed about. These are different post cards from years ago that also show the tradition:

Now many people dress up in hideous costumes and parade around town, remind me to stay home. I don't want to meet St. Nick or his partner Krampus!

In many parts of Croatia, Krampus is described as a devil, wearing chains around his neck, ankles and wrists, and wearing a cloth sack around his waist. As a part of a tradition, when a child receives a gift from St. Nicolas he is given a golden branch to represent his/hers good deeds throughout the year; however, if the child has misbehaved, Krampus will take the gifts for himself and leave only a silver branch to represent the child's bad acts. Children are commonly scared into sleeping during the time St. Nicolas brings gifts by being told that if they are awake, Krampus will think they have been bad, and will take them away in his sack."

I'm thinking that a man is known by his friends. Makes me think they guy in red can't be trusted.
Anyhoo, just a like cultural lesson from my dear Croatia. 

Tuesday, December 02, 2014

Winter Wallpaper - Wordless Wednesday

(right-click and open in new tab, click once more to enlarge then right-click and save)