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A Week Of Waiting For Rain

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This week we had a good, soaking rain. It came out of nowhere, drenching the ground for the better part of an hour. Molly and I sat at the window and watched, mostly because it had been so long since we'd actually seen rain.

Southern Iowa has been parched of late, which is clearly seen by the layer of grime on my car. After driving on gravel roads to interview a source for a magazine article and just going up and down our own driveway, it's clear that we were in much need of a cleansing rain.

Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold, the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and has long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. James 5:7

We have a choice while waiting for the rain - we can wait patiently or we can be impatient. Think about it this way: will a lack of patience make the rain come more quickly? Will any amount of anger, bitterness, frustration or grumbling bring rain drops from the clouds?

Make this…

Making A Mechanical Slider Card

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There are some days when I'll stare at a blank piece of card stock for hours and never see a finished card. Then on other days, like one this week, when I see something I've never seen before. That's how this beautiful slider card came to be. For this special card, you will need: card stock, decorator paper, eyelets, fibers, beads and adhesive.

Step 1: Cut and fold the card stock. I have a certain size of envelope that I like to use, so my cards are all cut to fit that. It's easier for me to make the card fit the envelope than find an envelope to fit my card.

Step 2: A simple patterned paper as a background.

Step 3: Cut another decorator paper slightly smaller than the card.

 Step 4: Choose an image that fits nicely and cut out a frame slightly taller and much wider. This is the space the image will move back and forth in.

 Step 5: Set eyelets in the sides of the image.

Step 6: Set eyelets in the frame in the middle of each side, even with the eyelets on the image.

St…

Words For Wednesday

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Strawberry Cake Mix Bars

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There are so many magical things you can do with a box of cake mix. I love making some basic cookies from them. You can always add ingredients to make special cookies. They make cute little cake loaves. And you'll enjoy the baked donuts you can make.

Here's one more to add to the list: cake bars! I love the cherry and strawberry cake flavors, but this will work perfectly with whichever flavor you like best.

Ingredients:
1 box strawberry cake mix
2 eggs
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1 bag white baking chips
1 container pretty sprinkles

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 9x13 baking pan with nonstick spray.

2. In a medium bowl, combine cake mix, eggs and vegetable oil. Stir in about 1/4 cup of white chips and a few of the sprinkles.

3. The mixture will be stiff and sticky, but you can still spoon it out and press it evenly into the baking pan. Add another handful of white chips and more sprinkles.

4. Bake at 350 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or until the edges have just turned brown.

Note To Self...

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A Week of Identifying Your Walls

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Up at the top of the hill by the big barn, there is a large circle of native grasses. It stands about 7 feet tall, and it's especially pretty when it moves in the breeze. 
But upon closer inspection, not all of the grass is standing up tall and pretty — in reality, it's just the outside ring. Inside, the grass has all been trampled and broken, leaving it to lie on the ground and whither away.
The outside doesn't match the inside. Seeing this plot from a distance, it would appear to be healthy and flourishing. It's pretty for pictures and seems to be growing strong. It's not until you peek inside that the true condition is apparent.
All the ways of a man are clean in his own eyes; but the LORD weigheth the spirits. Proverbs 16:2
God sees beyond the walls we put up around us and knows exactly what's on the inside. He is fully aware of how things inside us have gotten trampled, broken and bruised. We can put on a good front and make those walls look vibrant, but w…

Homemade Peanut Butter Bacon Dog Treats

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Ok, I need to admit what happened while I was making these peanut butter bacon puppy treats. I'm not proud of my weakness, my lack of self control. I almost feel like I've failed as a puppy mommy.

I gave Molly raw dough.

I know. I couldn't resist.

But I also assumed that if she liked the dough, she'd love the finished treats. She did, and she does. As if you couldn't tell by the look on her face.

Trust me, the face she gave me before I snuck her raw dough was much more pitiful. I have a feeling your puppies will love them as much as Molly does.

Ingredients:
1 egg
1/2 cup peanut butter
1/4 water
1 cup flour
1/2 cup quick oats
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup bacon bits

1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Lightly spray a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

2. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and stir until a stiff dough forms.

3. Roll out dough on a lightly floured surface until about 1/2 inch thick. Cut into rectangles, pinch the middles to look like a bow tie and transfer to…