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Monday, October 17, 2016

Easy Halloween treats kids can make on their own or as a group party project...FUN & FOOD & FUN & FOOD!

Classic popcorn balls taste even better when you sneak in a few candy treats! Coat your microwave popcorn with homemade brown sugar syrup, then sprinkle with candy-coated chocolate before rolling into balls.

For a quick and spooky Halloween treat, use marshmallows and fondant to form tasty ghouls. Tint the fondant and use candies and pretzels to decorate each ghoul to ghastly perfection.
For a tall white ghoul, use clean scissors to snip one end each from two large marshmallows. Press the cut ends together.
Roll fondant to about 1/4 inch thick. Cut out a 4-1/2-inch-diameter fondant circle. Shape the fondant over the marshmallow stack.
Add eyes and a mouth with decorating gel.
To color ghouls, tint fondant with a small amount of food coloring. For the striped version, roll small ropes of different colors of the fondant. Press ropes together and roll out with a rolling pin. Finish as directed above.
If desired, use small candies for features, attaching them with decorator frosting.

Craving something salty and sweet? This irresistible blend of pretzels, chocolate, and candy is frighteningly good and an easy Halloween treat. Line a 15-in. x 10-in. x 1-in. pan with foil. Brush with 1 tablespoon melted butter; set aside. In a microwave-safe bowl, melt white chips then stir until smooth. Stir in the candy pieces, small pretzels and cookie pieces of your choice. Spread into prepared pan. Chill until firm. Break into pieces and fill paper cups.

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Stepping into the Unknown

"And I said to you, You have come to the hill country of the Amorites, which the Lord our God gives us. Behold, the Lord your God has set the land before you; go up and possess it, as the Lord, the God of your fathers, has said to you. Fear not, neither be dismayed." Deuteronomy 1:20–21

Parents, teachers, and other role models can teach children how to fear or they can teach them to be bold. A mother who is fearful herself will transmit that fear to her children. She will be overly cautious about many things, and a silent fear sinks into the heart of her children. We should not teach our children to live recklessly, but we should teach them to be bold, take action, and to never be so afraid of making mistakes that they won’t try things. I believe we should teach our children and those under our authority to take chances in life. If we never take a chance, we will never make progress. Progress always requires stepping into the unknown. Experience gives us confidence, but we never get experience unless we step out and try things we have not tried before.

I encourage you to teach others by word and example how to be bold and courageous. Tell people to try things, reminding them that making a mistake is not the worst thing that can happen.

Lord, help me both in word and deed to show others to be bold and courageous. I will gladly follow You into the unknown. Amen.

Friday, October 14, 2016

Decorating for Halloween or Fall with carved, drilled, Sharpied or painted pumpkins....these pumpkin ideas will for sure be the focal point of your Halloween decorations and/or harvest displays.

Use an assortment of looks to achieve a front porch vignette that feels collected yet coordinated like here, where gold and chalkboard paints are used to add texture and dimension to six plump, squatty, and playful pumpkins.

Create your own "gourd"-geous no-carve pumpkins by incorporating two traditional office supplies ~ thumb tacks and a permanent marker. For one, grab a black permanent marker and add a weblike chevron pattern to a white painted pumpkin. For the second, push white thumbtacks into an orange pumpkin in the shape of a ghost. Black thumbtacks provide his eerie eyes and mouth.

Quotes are a huge trend this year! Pumpkins can even get in on the get the look of these wordy Halloween pumpkins, paint your gourds with chalkboard paint and trace on your words using stencils. Remove the stencils, then fill in the letters with traditional white or colored chalk.

Monday, October 10, 2016

Make this the year you WOW everyone with your front door and/or your front porch .... go all out with these ideas while taking full advantage of nature's beautiful autumnal colors!

We love all that fall has to offer -- pumpkins, flowers, baskets, and leaves! No need to pick a favorite with this mix-and-match design featuring several pretty ideas: gourds pouring from an upturned basket, dried hydrangeas in a tin vase, and scattered leaves around the whole display.

Carved pumpkins aren't limited to October 31. Turn a few pumpkins into bowls by cutting off the top and scooping out the insides. Use a pencil to trace a scallop design and carve. A power drill and drill bits make quick work of adding decorative circles. Place a vase of flowers in one pumpkin and candles in others. Display with squatty pumpkins with their stems cut off for optimal stacking potential.

An autumn wreath featuring crisp green apples matches a porch full of fall flowers, gourds, and pumpkins. Hay bales and apple baskets let you play with the heights of your display.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Host a spooky or elegant Halloween gathering with these fun table settings and decorations......they are sure to impress even the bravest {or scared-est} of guests!

Gather a few of your favorite ghouls for a dinner party where handmade Halloween decor with a macabre twist sets the scene. Using twigs and sticks from the backyard, spray painted black adorned with bats from the dollar store, finish off this tablescape.  

Carving pumpkins is one of the most interactive Halloween activities, so throw your own party filled with delicious teats and whimsical decor. Here a playful spider web tablecloth is used as the backdrop and is enhanced with inexpensive paper Halloween fans. Pinterest some Halloween edibles like those shown here and set pumpkins on cake stands to make them the focal point of the table.

Skulls fill this creepy dining room with a black-and-white theme. The table is topped with a gauze table runner and a delicate branch centerpiece that holds skull tea lights. The skull theme is carried through to the buffet table, featuring black candelabras and a mummy skeleton. The bright orange window panels are the only pop of color, which adds a dramatic touch to the space.

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Need a new front door decoration for the Fall season but seriously have no extra cash to spend......try this!

Tie a few branches together with a bright satin bow and hang on your front door for a new take on wreaths. Lay sticks flat and arrange in a fan shape, crisscrossing the ends. Tie them together with wire, winding it around the branches as needed to keep them stable. Tie a ribbon over the wire, or simply attach a bow with wire or hot glue. Change the ribbon color to transition from Thanksgiving to Christmas.

Monday, October 3, 2016

Get ready to spook up your home ~ both indoors and out ~ with These "SPOOKY" ideas for Halloween. From pumpkin carving, to no carve pumpkins, to leaves and witches ~ these are cheap, easy and fun!

Welcome trick-or-treaters and Halloween guests with a litter of black cat pumpkins. These carve-free kitties are easy making them a fun project for older children or small kids with a little help from a crafty adult.

All you need for this project is some matte black spray paint, pumpkins of course and some craft store birdhouses to make  this eerie mini landscape. To bump up the creep factor, add oversized spiders, rubber snakes or faux birds to your scene.

These billowing, tattered draperies made from budget-friendly cheesecloth will add an eerie atmosphere to your front porch or an interior doorway. Adorn with black vases, twigs spray painted black, pumpkins, etc.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Some are pressed down, some are lifted up......which are you?

"I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide. I said, I will confess my transgressions to the Lord [continually unfolding the past till all is told]—then You [instantly] forgave me the guilt and iniquity of my sin." Psalm 32:5

There is something I struggle with A LOT ~ condemnation and conviction. In order to have peace within ourselves, we must learn the difference between condemnation and conviction. God will never condemn us (Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because they have not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. John 3.18) Condemnation presses us down and manifests as a heavy burden that requires us to pay for our errors. Conviction is the work of the Holy Spirit, showing us that we have sinned and inviting us to confess our sins in order to receive forgiveness and God’s help to improve our behavior in the future. Condemnation makes the problem worse; conviction is intended to lift us out of it.

When we feel guilty, the first thing we need to do is ask our self if we are guilty according to God’s Word and perhaps we really are. If that's the case, we must confess our sin to God, turn away from that sin and not repeat it. If we need to apologize to someone we have wronged, then we need to do it. Then . . . we must  forgive our self and let go of it! God already forgave us and if we refuse to do the same, then we’ll miss out on the joy of redemption that God wants us all to experience.

Sometimes we may well find that we are not guilty according to God’s Word. For example, I  feel guilty when I try to sit and rest. I have to always be actively doing something like cleaning, crafting or something similar because I feel good when I was accomplish something.  If I'm not doing something productive, I feel guilty just sitting around.......this thinking is totally wrong according to God’s Word, heck even Even He rested from His work of creation. He has invited us to enter into that same rest. The guilt I feel when I try to rest is unscriptural, irrational, and downright ridiculous.

Dear Heavenly Father, help me to trust You and Your Word.  Reveal to me when my guilt is false and my thinking is wrong.  Show me when and how to forgive others as well as myself and then let it go!  In your Holy precious name I pray, Amen.