What joy the gospel gives me. I can approach the throne of God with confidence, not because I've done a good job at my spiritual duties, but because I'm clothed in the righteousness of Jesus Christ. ~ C.J. Mahaney


This fine winter's day is just perfect for curling up with some redwork and a sweet doggie. Bella and I hope you are having a terrific Tuesday!

Laura Lee

Ice Cream Sandwich Torte

You knew I couldn't stay away from the topic of food for long!

I wanted to share the recipe for this delicious ice cream sandwich torte. I tasted this at a birthday party a couple years ago, begged the recipe, and promptly made it for the first "occasion" that came along. Since then, every birthday person in the family has requested this. It's that good.

And simple. It doesn't get much simpler than this. I'm all about good and simple.

Lacy had some friends over last night to celebrate her birthday since she didn't have a party last week. I tell ya', we can sure milk a birthday for all it's worth around here. She asked me to pleeaassee make this ice-cream torte. Of course, I thought you might like to try it, too.

I bet you can think of a special occasion to celebrate! If not, try it anyway. Your taste buds will thank you.

The key ingredients

Take out your aggressions on 10 Oreos.

Mix up the yummy filling.

Line up 6 sandwiches on a serving platter.

Pile high with filling.

Top with remaining sandwiches.

Frost with remaining Cool Whip and generously sprinkle with nonpareils.

Find something to celebrate!

Ice Cream Sandwich Torte

  • 10 crushed Oreo cookies
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 package (3.9 oz.) chocolate instant pudding
  • 12 oz. whipped topping, divided
  • 12 frozen ice cream sandwiches
  • sprinkles
In a bowl, combine milk and pudding mix. Fold in crushed cookies and half the whipped topping. Arrange six ice cream sandwiches side by side on platter. Spread filling over sandwiches. Top with remaining sandwiches. Spread remaining whipped topping over top and sides of torte. Sprinkle with nonpareils. Freeze at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve. Serves 12 or more.

Will You Play With Me?

Hi again!

It's me, Barbie. I used to be called Maggie Rose, but I changed my name the other day. So I would appreciate it if you would call me by my new name.

Every once in a while, Mommy lets me blog for her when she is too busy. Right now she's taking wall paper down, so I thought I'd show you my room. This is where I play while my sisters are doing school and Mommy is busy doing other "stuff."

I share my room with my sister, Holly. Her name is still Holly. She hasn't changed it yet. She thinks it is silly that I changed my name. But what does she know?

Anyhow, here is our bed. We have LOTS of animals. Mommy says we have too many. But we love all of them, so they are staying. The nightstand is full of Bible story books. Every night Daddy reads us a Bible story and does a Brain Quest with us. Then he prays with us before he tucks us in.

Above our bed is the quilt Mommy made for us. It is called Grandma's Flower Garden. It should be called Granddaddy's Flower Garden because he is the one who loves to plant flowers.

Holly loves her new American Girl doll that she got for Christmas. Every morning, she changes her out of her night gown into her play clothes. Today she is dressed like Laura, from Little House on the Prairie. We love to watch that on TV.

Here is our Barbie House. In case you forgot, that would be MY house, now. We play with this a LOT. Mommy says we have WAY TOO MANY Barbies. I don't agree. A girl can not have too many Barbies. It's like having too much money or being too thin. Just impossible.

These shelves hold our toys. Mommy likes it when they are very straight. They are not always straight, but a few weeks ago we had company, so they are really straight now. Mommy says we need to keep them this way. It's hard when you're little, you know? I like to make messes! But Holly loves to keep things straight. Mommy says she is obsessive/compulsive about being neat. I have NO idea what that means. I just know she helps me when I get too messy. She is such a good big sister.

Mommy and Daddy got us these name paintings in China. I think they are really pretty. The man did these very fast because we were in a hurry to catch a plane to come home.

I'm so happy you came to play. Won't you come again soon? Now I think I'll have a tea party with my bears.


I'm NOT going Sugar-Free!

Thanks to Roy's astute observation skills, I've corrected the recipe below to reflect the proper ingredient list!

National Pie Day

Well, who woulda thunk it? There's even a day to celebrate pie. Today, January 23rd, is National Pie Day. And I would be remiss if I did not share with you, my loyal and devoted readers, my all-time favorite pie.

A friend gave me this recipe for Derby Pie over 15 years ago. And I can assure you, it is our all-time-hands-down favorite. I can mix this up in about three minutes. It has just the perfect combination of yummy gooey-ness, pecans, and chocolate chips. I tell people that it tastes sort of like a chocolate chip cookie.

Give it a whirl and make your family smile on National Pie Day!

Derby Pie
  • 9 inch regular pie crust-unbaked

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 stick butter, melted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup pecans
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
Mix in order listed. Pour into pie crust. Bake at 325 degrees for 35 minutes. Center will puff up. A knife inserted in the middle should come out "clean." Top with whipped cream or ice cream.

Laura Lee

Souper Bloggin', Again

I've mentioned before that the Crock Pot is my best friend. Bonnie McCullough suggests, in her book, Totally Organized, that knowing what you're having for dinner by 10 AM is one of the secrets to a productive day. She suggests you know what's for dinner by 1o PM the night before if you don't plan to be home for the day. Putting into practice this one little concept completely revolutionized my meal planning. We know we're going to be eating something; why not plan ahead a little and enjoy the pleasure of thinking about that tasty meal all day? I can't begin to tell you the what's-for-dinner-angst this simple concept has saved me.

These chilly days just scream SOUP! So I grabbed my favorite crock-pot cookbook, Fix-It and Forget-It, searching for a good potato soup recipe.

Low and behold my eyes came to rest on one that I had obviously tried before. I like to notate right in my cookbooks when I try a recipe and what the family's reaction to it is. It appears this was a big hit the first time I tried it, back in 2002.

So, I figure, why gamble with success? I have everything I need, so let's get busy!

I'll let that all simmer for most of the day, then right before serving, I'll add the milk and cheese.

Now, scoot over Bella! I want under that snuggly afghan! Did I say I planned to be productive today??

No-Fuss Potato Soup
  • 6 cups diced, peeled potatoes
  • 5 cups water
  • 2 cups diced onions
  • 1/2 cups diced celery
  • 1/2 cup chopped carrots
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 4 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 12 oz. can evaporated milk
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 8 oz. cheddar or Colby cheese, shredded
Combine all ingredients except milk, parsley, and cheese in slow cooker. Cover and cook on High 7-8 hours, or until vegetables are tender. Stir in milk, parsley, and cheese. Heat through.

Our First-Round Draft Pick

Brad tells Lacy she was our "first round draft pick." Big brothers! You gotta love 'em. We do have an all-star team....

I love you, but you aren't getting my cupcake!

So we had a big birthday dinner and afterward celebrated with Red Velvet cake. Actually, they were cupcakes, so Lacy could take some to her ballet class. In Chinese, red is a symbol of good fortune. Certainly we are the fortunate ones to have her. But Lacy tells us that her favorite color is red because it reminds her that Jesus died for her sins. A contemplative child, she is.

Lacy got to choose what she wanted for dinner on her birthday. She chose Sharon's Chicken Divan. This is another chicken recipe my family loves. I thought you might like to try it.

Sharon's Chicken Divan
  • 2(10 oz) packages broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 4 cups cooked, cubed chicken
  • 1 can cream of chicken soup
  • 1 can cream of mushroom soup
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • curry powder to taste
  • 1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese
Line bottom of large pan (11X15) with chicken. Top with broccoli. Mix soups, mayo, curry, lemon juice and a little of the cheese. Pour over chicken and broccoli. Top with the rest of the cheese. Bake at 350 degrees for 35-40 minutes.

This tastes best shared with someone you love. Preferably, your whole "team."

Have a wonderful weekend.

Laura Lee

Happy Birthday, Lacy!

Today you officially became a teenager, something you've been reminding us of for months. I should be shaking in my boots at the thought, but you've never given us even one small reason to dread your teenage years. I'm sure you'll sail through them brilliantly, just like you have the first 12 years.

Thanks for being such a sweet daughter. May your birthday be filled with lots of joy, friends, and cake!!


It's Gotta Go!

The first home improvement project for 2008 involves removing the last bastion of flowered wallpaper from our home. To say that the previous owners liked roses is an understatement. Now coming from me, that might sound strange. I love the garden, on the table, painted on canvas, or stitched on a pretty pillow. I just don't want them on every vertical space in huge quantities.

Abby has been pestering me to get this done. The project involves the hall bathroom upstairs, which has been a lovely shade of pink with roses cascading down from the ceiling. It's got to go. We've lived with it for seven years and we're ready for a change.

So my eager four year old was tickled when I told her she had permission to start ripping it down. Soon, others arrived and there were several of us pulling and tearing. It's going to take some work...the paper backing didn't want to come off on the first try. I despise wall paper! Never, in all the years of removing it has it ever come off easily.

What color will the bathroom be?? Well, we're striving for a "beach cottage meets tropical paradise" feel. The walls will be a calm, relaxing blue, but there will be a few bright accents, including a totally cool piece of artwork my parents are giving me.

This photo from is our inspiration. Notice the white towels? With teenagers who use Oxy Wash, there will be no brightly colored towels in here!

Stay tuned!

Sloppy Joe!

First an update:

Tricia and Gwyneth are hanging in there. Check Nathan's blog for the most current updates. Please continue to pray for Tricia's full recovery. She is still not fully conscious. Pray for little Gwyneth to grow stronger every day. Thanks!

I think January is a great month for comfort food, don't you? Here's another family favorite. I grew up eating these sloppy joes after my sister was served this recipe at a sleep-over. Now my family asks for these regularly. The sauce is so tangy and scrumptious!

Below is the original recipe. I guess it goes without saying that I double this. My family would be sorely disappointed if there wasn't a little left for lunch the next day. It's quick, delicious, and very kid and husband pleasing.

Brown the ground beef and onion.

Dump in all the sauce ingredients and simmer.

Pile the resulting deliciousness on a bun.
Forget being neat while you consume this.

A little birdie tells me you're going to love it!

Sloppy Joes

  • 1/4 cup molasses
  • 2 tablespoons vinegar
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup mustard
  • 2 tablespoons Worchestershire sauce
  • salt to taste
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1 onion chopped
Brown beef and onions in skillet. Drain excess fat. Add other ingredients and simmer 20 minutes or so, to let the flavors mingle.

Laura Lee

We Have a Winner!

On Wednesday I finished the little redwork pillow. I can't tell you how much I'd love to keep this little confection. Too bad! I already promised to give it away to one of the fifteen people who entered the drawing.

I pondered what fabric to use on the back. Abby suggested my signature red gingham and she was right. It's just perfect. I applied a delicate cotton lace to the edge and secured the back with three buttons.

I'm very excited to see who is going to win it.

Excuse me for a minute while we toss the names into a basket and pull out a winner....

Sharon! You're the winner! I hope my sweet pillow finds the ideal spot to grace your domicile, and adds a, ummm, feminine touch to your male-dominated home. :-)

Thank you to everyone who stopped by to enter. The next give-away will have a Spring theme!!!

"And Joshua said unto all the people , . . . choose you this day whom ye will serve; . . . but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord"
Josh. 24:2, 15

Laura Lee