To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common–this is my symphony.~William Henry Channing

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Almost Wordless on Wednesday

winnie the pooh, pooh bear, friendship quotes, best friend quotes

Tim and Chrisann

One of the hardest things for a photographer who wants to share their work is choosing which images to post. Especially when there are so many good ones to choose from which is certainly the case with Tim and Chrisann's engagement pictures. They are both photogenic but it really is the way their happiness and delight with each other just shines through every image that makes narrowing them down difficult. 

Except this one. This one is easy to share so that we can collectively enjoy the awesomeness that is Chrisann's hair. Gorgeousness. 

Pensacola photography, engagement pictures Pensacola Beach

We started our time together in Gulf Breeze on a giant sand cliff and then moved on to Ft. Pickens. I ended up with way more images than I normally deliver and if the light had lasted longer probably would have ended up with even more. Here are a few of my favorites in no particular order.

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

My goodness I just love this one.

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits

couple photography, engagement pictures, Pensacola Beach portraits
Tim and Chrisann, may the Lord continue to pour out His generous blessing upon the two of you as your love for each other declares His goodness and faithfulness. May He bless you and keep you and make His face to shine upon you.

Monday, August 18, 2014

Pinterest Test Kitchen # 65 ~ An Apple A Day

Right now is the beginning of my favorite time of year. Like the very first threads of light dawning across the sky herald a new day, the kids getting ready to go back to school announce the coming of Autumn. 

I start to feel a sense of anticipation and I can almost feel a crispness in the air. I day dream about opening my windows and seeing the leaves start changing colors. I love the feel of fall...the smells and colors. Just love it.

Of course this also means that we are smack in the middle of getting ready to start school. I love the school my kids attend but I sure will miss having them home with me. It's still a little new to me not having kids home during the day. When Sam started last year after being homeschooled the longest it was the first time in eighteen years I didn't a child with me.  With my sudden childless state last year I found myself being a little indiscriminate with my time, and coupled with Sarah being a senior, found myself a little over extended. This year I am committed to being more productive and purposeful with my time. I'd rather do less and do it well than do a lot and feel utterly frazzled so that it all suffers.

One thing I want to do this year is be more intentional in showing my appreciation and care for the teachers of our school as a whole, and of course my kid's teachers specifically. To that end I found a nifty little welcome back treat on pinterest to make as they began their teacher training.

welcome back teacher gifts

These little guys weren't hard to make...just labor intensive and a little pricey if you are making a bunch. Thankfully, a friend and I did it together to offset the cost. I used a variety of apples since my grocery store didn't have enough granny smiths.  

I don't have a recipe per se for these but they are pretty self explanatory.  I tried a few different recipes for homemade caramel sauce before I just settled in unwrapping several bags of Kraft's caramels and melted them with some heavy whipping cream. (You can find the recipe here.)

However because I love food photography and the light in my kitchen is fabulous I do have lots of pictures :-)
caramels, candy, homemade caramel sauce

homemade kraft caramel sauce

We used the cute little four ounce canning jars...just the right amount for generous single servings. And may I just say that I think raffia ribbon is a pseudonym for hair of the devil? It sure adds a nice touch but man is it a pain to work with!

They bagged up nice though and I was pleased with how they looked. This would make a great back to school gift your child's teacher or even the whole class.

apples with caramel dipping sauce
Whether or not you make this or something else, I hope you take the time this year to let your child's teacher know how much you appreciate them and the work they do.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

I Live In A Beautiful Place

I really do. The beach is less than an hour away and it just doesn't get much better than that around here.
I also have some really wonderful friends in my life that I am so grateful for. A couple of months back those two things came together for a lovely afternoon. I shared some of the pictures on facebook but had a few more that I just loved.

The kids just have such a good time.

Sam loves the beach and he will come up with some of the funniest sand creatures.

Pensacola Beach

On the sound side you can see a lovely sunset and then turn around to look over the gulf and see a beautiful moon rise.

See? A truly beautiful place.

Photo Story Friday     1440

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pinterest Test Kitchen # 64 ~ Peanut Butter Pie

Hey, you know what I noticed? It's been a while since I posted a sweet recipe. I think I will take it as an indicator of success in the pursuit of healthier eating. Not that one cannot indulge occasionally but sometimes when one is trying to develop new habits it is best to avoid things that are too tempting, don't ya think?

That being said I do have a yummy, and super rich, peanut butter pie recipe to share.

It starts with one of the best homemade graham cracker crust I've ever eaten. I think it taste so good because it has almost a whole stick of butter and brown sugar in it. And then you sprinkle some chopped up honey roasted peanuts on it ~ a crunchy and delicious platform for the creamy peanut butter filling. The original recipe I pinned mentions being tempted to drizzle chocolate over it and suggests not doing so. I actually disagree and think just a tiny bit of chocolate would make for a pretty and tasty addition.

What you'll need ~ For the crust:
1 1/4 cup crushed graham crackers
3 TBS brown sugar
1/3 cup of butter (5 1/3 TBS), melted
1/2 cup shopped honey roasted peanuts

What you'll do:
Mix the first three ingredients together.
Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9 inch pie plate.
Bake at 325 degree for 5 minutes.
Rotate and bake for 5 more minutes until a light golden brown.
Sprinkle most of the chopped peanuts evenly across the cooled crust, leaving some to garnish the top of the pie.

What you'll need ~ For the filling:
3/4 cup confectioner's sugar
3/4 cup creamy peanut butter
6 oz cream cheese, softened
3 TBS heavy whipping cream
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

What you'll do:
Mix all the ingredients together until well combined. Increase your speed and whip until fluffy.
In a separate bowl, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form.
Gently fold it into the peanut butter mixture until it is well combined.
Spoon into the pie crust.

What you'll need ~ Whipped cream layer:
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream
2 TBS confectioner's sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract

What you'll do:
Whip everything together until foamy. 

Increase your speed and continue to mix until stiff peaks form.
Spread evenly across the pie.
Refrigerate about 2 hours until set.
Garnish with remaining peanuts and enjoy!

Tuesday's Table

Worship Is Warfare

 Our call to worship yesterday morning...a call to arms. 

"If  you’ve been keeping up with the news, you know that terrible, unspeakable things are being done to Christians in northern Iraq. Horrifying images are invading our social media, and calls for action are loud and many.

We want those who are perpetrating these things to be crushed. And it is right for us to want this. They are clearly enemies of God, and they must be stopped.

We want to take some action to facilitate their destruction, or at least to stop the blood letting.

But let us remember that persecution is a matter of course for Christians. We have been told to expect it and to rejoice in the face of it. It seems like foolishness at least, and madness at most to even suggest it, I know. But these are the words of our Lord: “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. Blessed are you when others revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account. Rejoice and be glad, for your reward is great in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.”

This does not require us to be silent. Neither does it call us to inaction. But let us not lose sight of the weaponry we have most certainly been given to fight such evil.

We have been given baptism and bread and wine. We have been given Psalms. We have been given the Word of truth. We have been given prayer. We have been given, in short, worship. When we worship we are doing battle with the forces of evil in every sphere – in heaven and on earth. 

And so let us worship this morning like it actually matters. Let us wage war with the powers of darkness in this present world. Let us raise YHWH’s banner high, and declare his lordship over all. And let us come to the table, which he prepares before us in the presence of our enemies."

May we continue to wage war, declaring the truth that Christ is King.