Early Celebrations…

Both of our sons were born in January. We celebrated our oldest son Josh’s birthday early this past Friday. After our trip with Josh and Laura to England in September we’ve been carrying a British theme through our celebrations. We met for dinner at The Three Lions Pub and then came home for cake and presents.

Josh 002

2014-01-11 Josh

Josh 001We had a good time celebrating Josh. He has added so much joy to our lives and we thank God for him.

Joshua’s actual birthday is on the 19th. He will be at Lakeside Bible Camp directing Junior High Winter camp.

Today we are sending off packages and cards across the world and country. Our Dan’s birthday is on the 16th and we won’t be able to celebrate face to face this year. We’re sending another care package to Afghanistan. We are so thankful for the U.S.A.’s  APO/FPO post office service that allows us to ship packages for such a reasonable rate. We pay a little over $14.00 for a Large Flate Rate Box! Our favorite little almost 6 year old in Texas will be getting a package in the mail soon, too.

We have been promised some dry days…maybe we’ll even have some sun breaks! I’m excited. What are you looking forward to this week?

Happy Birthday Andrew!

If you and Katie were here I’d bake you a cake!

We’d have Josh and Laura over, too, and sing Happy Birthday to You!

We’d take you someplace fun to have a meal.

It would be another good reason to get the whole family here to celebrate you!

Hope the birthday card we sent arrives today. If not we only have the U*S*P*S to blame. Glad the “kids” are coming over tonight to celebrate with you and that Alex is making his famous burgers for y’all!

We love you and thank God for you and pray that God continues to bless you richly.  We ask that He will continue to protect you and keep you safe at home and when you are away serving in even more dangerous environments! Semper fi! May you always be faithful in your service to your country and God and in your marriage to Katie! Looking forward to being with you at one of your birthdays in the future!

A thank you to Jeremy Leffel for this last photo.

Fulfilling Promises…

When I showed you the cake for our daughter’s birthday a couple weeks ago I promised to share the recipe. I have shared this recipe on my blog before but I’m posting it again. This cake is a family favorite. When I asked my daughter what she’d like for her birthday cake she requested this one.

 

Applesauce Spice Cake

1 pkg. yellow cake mix
1 pkg. 4 serving size Jello instant vanilla pudding
4 eggs
1 cup applesauce
1/2 C. water
1/4 C. oil
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/4 tsp. all-spice (optional)
1/2 cup raisins, finely chopped (optional)

Combine all ingredients in large mixing bowl of electric mixer and blend then beat at medium for 4 minutes. Pour into well greased and floured 10 inch tube or fluted tube pan. (I’ve used a bundt cake pan and angel food cake pan). Bake at 350 degrees for 50-55 minutes or until cake tester comes out clean. DO NOT UNDERBAKE. Cool in pan for 15 min. remove and cool on rack. When the cake has cooled and before I serve it I give it a dusting of powdered sugar.

When I went out to purchase ingredients for the cake I forgot to buy applesauce. I didn’t want to make another trip to the store so I checked my cupboard and found a jar of spiced pear butter that my friend Sandy from the Reluctant Entertainer gifted me when we met for dinner earlier this year. Here’s her recipe for Sweet Spiced Apple Butter which looks just like the Pear butter.  Since the pears were already spiced nicely I omitted the spices from the recipe and just added the jar of goodness to the recipe. It turned out very nice and the spices were just right. Thank you Sandy!

For the record, I’ve never added the raisins to this recipe. My family prefers it without.

Photobucket replaced all my photos with ugly black and grey boxes and they are holding my photos hostage until I pay them lots of money. I’m slowly going through all my posts and trying to clean them up and replacing some photos. Such a bother.