Archives for category: Relationships

A few days after coming home from the grocery store my younger son, Kyler, said “I feel so loved when I see cranberry juice in the refrigerator.”

I smiled. Kyler loves cranberry juice. But he is the only one in our house who drinks it. When he is home from college, I buy it. I was good to hear that it shows love.

I think my husband feels loved when he smells homemade baked goods in our oven. That’s how his mom showed love. She regularly baked cakes from scratch.

After we got married, when I would take a box cake out of the cabinet he would ask me what was about to do with that. Then he would call his mom to make him a cake. This actually made me jealous, so I set out to learn. She tried to teach me, but she was a cook who didn’t write recipes down and since I didn’t grow up baking from scratch, I didn’t learn well that way.

I was determined to master this skill and I tried dozens of recipes and made lots of cakes that smelled like cake, but they were NOT cake. They were like corn bread  and only smelled like cake. Then eureka! I finally found a recipe that worked.

Cake

That was over 27 years ago. I found my go-to recipe in Woman’s Day Magazine. It was a winner! The first cake that was really a great cake. It has been a staple over the years. I bet I typically bake this cake every other month or so. It gives me (and now you) a way to celebrate and show love. Please make it for “Father’s Day” to show your appreciation! Cooking from your heart is a great way to show kindness.

Ingredients:

2 cups all purpose flour

(You can make half the flour whole wheat to make a healthier cake)

2 cups granulated sugar

1 teaspoon baking soda

A pinch of salt

1 cup water

1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder

Two sticks of butter

Two large eggs

1/2 cup plain yogurt or buttermilk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Cake post 3

Directions:

Grease (with butter) and flour a large Bundt pan. Set your oven to 350 degrees F.

Put the water ad cocoa powder into a small saucepan. Cut the butter into small chunks and add to the water/cocoa. Stir over medium heat until mixture comes to a gentle boil and the butter melts.

Mix all the dry ingredients (flour, sugar, baking soda and salt) in a large bowl.

Carefully pour the water/butter/cocoa mixture into the dry ingredients and stir. (The whole  mixture usually cools down enough so that the eggs don’t cook when added. But if it is still really warm, let it cool down.)

Crack the eggs and mix them into the batter until incorporated well. Next stir in the yogurt and vanilla.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan and bake at 350° for 35 to 40 minutes.  (Test for doneness after 32 minutes, by inserting a toothpick near the center of the cake. If it comes out wet like batter, cook for another 5-7 minutes. If it comes out like the cake is baked, remove from the oven.)

For the icing, I place a half a bag of powdered sugar in a mixing bowl. (I use the Domino Confectioners 2-Pound Bag.)  Then I mix 2 teaspoons of cocoa power with 3 tablespoons of milk in a small bowl. Using an electric mixer I begin to blend to sugar with the chocolate milk a tablespoon at a time. Once this starts to come together as a thick icing, I add a pat (1 tablespoon) of butter for creaminess. This is some what of a delicious art, because you may have to add more milk or sugar to get the consistency you prefer. But the tasting makes it worth every iteration. Once the cake cools, spread on the icing and hope your people don’t cut the cake, before you can take a picture and post it on social media.

When you bake this cake, I hope you will feel like a particular person from the New Testament. Her name was Tabitha, which means “gazelle.” She was known for doing simple things that greatly blessed the people around her.

“There was a believer in Joppa named Tabitha (which in Greek is Dorcas.) She was always doing kind things for others and helping the poor.” Acts of the Apostles 9:36 NLT

Happy Father’s Day

Kelly

 

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Last Father’s Day, my family and I were riding in our vehicle. We stumbled upon something we now call A-B-C Affirmations.

It started because the kid’s dad is great at sharing words of affirmation. These are words that talk about a person’s character traits or ways of being in a positive light. So we decided to give him some affirmations to celebrate his special day.

Someone said, “Hey let’s give one for each letter of the alphabet. We can go around the truck.” I’m not sure who started, but it was really meaningful to him and fun for us. It was so meaningful, that he took out his smart phone and started recording the moment.

For the rest of that calendar year and going forward, we do A-B-C Affirmations for birthdays, Father’s Day, Siblings Day and now coming up Mother’s Day. We even did them for Jesus, at the CHRISTmas party for our Bible study group.

I share this idea in hopes you will take a few minutes to affirmations for your Mom and anyone else you want to show love to. The following will help you see how it works, it’s the list we created in March, for our son KJ’s 22nd birthday:

A – Abiding in the Lord (Said Dad)

B – Believer (Said Mom)

C – Chicken finger lover (Said Koah, his 11-year-old sister)

D – Determined (Said Kyler, his 20-year-old brother)

E – Earth shaking laugh when coaching volleyball and playing 2K

F – Fashion sense – KJ loves the two jacket look

G – Gangster (little OG) Koah says because KJ’s co-workers call his dad the OG

H – Humble

I – Identical to Kenny (Said by his Dad)

J – Jumper – Says mom, per the photo that KJ took touching the ceiling to show his hops.

KJ Ceiling

K – Knowledgeable of history

L – Lively, Lit (hyped) Likeable

M – Me (said again by the name sharing Kenneth Vance Wilson, Sr.) millennial, marvelous

N – Not worried

0 – Opinionated and original

P – Peanut Butter Eater (The whole fam says this because KJ is largely a non-meat eater.) He is also precious, valuable and needed.

Q – Quite the gentleman, quick silver the super hero

R – Road observant (Says mom, to whom he is always giving driving advice)

S – Shopper at H&M

T – Thinker (Says Kyler, a student at OSU)

U – Unafraid

V – Vance-tastic, KJ’s middle name is Vance

W – Westbrook (For similarities to Russell Westbrook)

X – Xanadocious (The quality of xanady) X is a tough letter and we often make up words for this one. I believe Kyler made up this word.

Y – Young

Z – Zealot for Christ

We don’t always write these down, but KJ said I could share them for this post. Thanks son!

IMG_2181

Please let me know how your A-B-C Affirmations go. This can give us all some new ideas!

Continued Blessings – Better Day Kelly

 

 

Lately when I sweep my kitchen floor I want to cry. It’s not because I hate cleaning my kitchen. I actually like having a clean kitchen. I want to cry because my floor had a hidden kitchen sweeper that I am reminded of when I sweep. It was my nearly 13-year-old dog, Kondi Wilson.

Kondi on the way home from the groomer, 2016

Kondi on the way home from the groomer 2016

Kondi was a Wheaten Terrier. She was loving, kind, funny, loyal and protective. Whenever the doorbell would ring, she was over the top crazy, making sure we knew a possible intruder could be at hand. But if we allowed the person to enter, she was a friend.

We got Kondi in May of 2004 and she was named after Condoleezza Rice. My husband bought her for me as a surprise, a few months after our oldest daughter, Kennedy died. He thought Kondi would be a good distraction for me over that first mother’s day weekend without our infant. She was.

Of her many talents, Kondi was a great vacuum sweeper.

I candidly didn’t realize how much she did to help me keep the floor clean. She must’ve licked up millions of crumbs over her 12 years of being our pet. I never noticed until now, how fraught with crumbs the kitchen floor is and has been. It makes me miss her even more.

Kondi was a really good friend. She was always optimistic, believing the best of me. She was always available to play or just sit next to me while I worked on my laptop or read my Bible in the early morning. She was quirky, loving to lie on stinky clothes that she dragged from the laundry room. The worst the smell, the better it was to her.

I suspect that my human friends and loved ones have value that is hidden too. I am afraid that I overlook or take for granted so many of the wonderful things that they do – and I don’t fully savor the quirky and unique ways that they are. Or worst, I get impatient and annoyed.

As Valentine’s Day approaches, this will be a great time to acknowledge many of the wonderful people in my life. Maybe I will make them a treat. I trust Kondi would approve.

 

My command is this: Love each other as I [Jesus] have loved you.

Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.

You are my friends if you do what I command.

I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.

John 15:12-15 NIV

I have a soft place in my heart for Halloween. Maybe it’s because October 31st is my birthday. When I was a little girl, back in the stone ages, we dressed up as princesses or cheerleaders and paraded through the neighborhood with parents watching. Today the world has more risk and caution is needed. Some in the Christian Community think it is “ungodly” to celebrate.

candy-cover

Several years ago I read an intriguing book called, Redeeming Halloween, Celebrating without Selling Out by Kim Weir and Pam McCune. They discuss the origin of the holiday and its tie to All Saints Day, which was a time to remember and celebrate Saints and martyrs from Christian history. In a practical sense it is a perfect opportunity to show the love of Christ to the people who ring our doorbells.

Before you start typing a rebuttal email, I ask you to consider two passages from the Bible:

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24 (NKJ) and Jesus says of Himself, in Luke 4:18-19 (NIV)

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me,
because he has anointed me
to proclaim good news to the poor.
He has sent me to proclaim freedom for the prisoners
and recovery of sight for the blind,
to set the oppressed free,
to proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor.”

In a nutshell the first verse says that the enemy has not created any days. October 31 is NOT his day. God is the Creator of time and every day belongs to Him. 10/31 is no different. So I am going to rejoice by giving out candied blessings to the people who come to Trick or Treat.

The second passage is where Jesus quotes Isaiah stating that He is now on earth to do what was promised. In the great commission Jesus extends this work to all His followers. Because of the Holy Spirit we now have the ability and responsibility to share the good news of His love with other people so that they can be fully connected with Him. One simple way to share this message is with the treats you giveaway.

A few years ago, our church provided stickers to place on candy that said “Because God Loves you BIG! (Not just fun sized.)” And they encouraged us to buy large sized candy bars to give away. You can create your own version on your computer and tape them to the candy and maybe include the website URL for the place where you worship or your address.

oyddesseyOur family often gives a sample Adventure in Odyssey CD to the first 20 families along with some candy. (Adventures in Odyssey is an outstanding children’s radio program that teaches faith-based concepts in a creative storyline. Check your local radio station for air times, or listen online at http://www.whitsend.org.) You can get samplers online.

If you’ve already bought a bunch of fun sized candy packs, maybe you can bundle them with a note that says – Here’s some Fun Sized Candy to say, “I love you” from a Super-Sized God.

I think this is a great way to show the generosity of our Father.

As you give out treats at your door or walk in your community, you could dress as a person from the Bible… or some other positive role model in history as you smile and share His joy. Who knows, your Queen Esther or Prime Minister Joseph costume might spark great conversations.

Please let me know how you decide to celebrate the Lord of the Harvest, with Halloween babies everywhere.

big-time

Blessings to you and yours,

Kelly

 

 

As I write, I’m riding in my husband’s vehicle with my husband, daughter, son Kyler and his friend Teliek, a young man who lives on the same dorm floor as my son at the Ohio State University. We are taking them back to campus after fall break.

I met Teliek’s mom Sandra when she brought him to our house for the drive.

She said, “Thank you for taking my baby back to school.” I smiled as I looked at the 6’2 inch young man standing next to my 6′ son.

I feel the same sentiment about my babies Kyler, my oldest KJ and my girls Kennedy and Koah. There is something about the love and care of a good mom.

Last week my mom, Loraine, an attractive, petite 71-year-old fireball attended a workshop with me. I heard her say on several occasions, “I’m the mom of the speaker.” I had to laugh. She was proud like she was Mother-of-the-bride again. I think it was her way of saying that’s my baby. Even now.

A few years ago, my husband sent the picture below to me. I think it is funny because for many people it is very real. (If I knew here it came from I would credit the author.)

Mom Comic for Blog

So… even though we are nowhere near the official time of year when Mother’s Day is celebrated, call your mom, grandmother, big sister, or favorite aunt and tell her that you appreciate being her “baby.”

In 2004 my husband bought me a puppy as a surprise. He thought she would be a helpful distraction to ease my sorrow during the first Mothers Day that followed the death of our infant daughter, Kennedy. We named our puppy “Kondilisa” in honor of then Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice. Our version starts with the letter K because all of the names of the members of my nuclear family start with the letter K. Only my sister-in-law, Kathy, calls our dog by her full name; the rest of us called her “Kondi.”

Kondi has always been a smart, determined and optimistic doggie. When we moved into the house we live in now, we would put Kondi into the basement when we’d leave the house and when we returned she was always out. Hmm… “Kenny, you didn’t close that door tightly because Kondi keeps getting out.”

Kondi, Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier, 2011

One day, I put her down in the basement and waited quietly. From the bottom of the stairs, I saw Kondi stand on her hind legs and then use her paws to push down the universal door knob, to escape 1-2-3. (For those who haven’t seen them, a universal doorknob often has a handle rather than a round ball. It is designed to be easier for all human beings to use, especially those who might have physical challenges.) Clearly, these knobs work well, especially for smart doggies.

One of the best things about Kondi is that she has great expectations. She is always looking for something good to happen. This morning when I was getting ready to leave the house, I opened the pantry where I keep my soy bars and her doggie treats. She ran over looking like – “I sure hope I get a treat!” So I gave her one. The morning before, I was slicing an apple into pieces for my daughter to eat on the way to school. Kondi smells the aroma and sees me at the counter and she gives a quick happy wag of her tail. To me, it was like she was thinking, “wow, I might get a piece of apple.” And so I give her one.

Later it dawns on me – that I – am rarely like Kondi in this regard. And this is extra sad, because my “Master” is my Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ and He is waaay more generous that I could ever hope to be. I wonder how much stuff I miss out on, because I am not expecting anything “good” to happen. I am often not expecting anything or if I am brutally honest I am worried that something bad is about to happen.

I am praying for God’s help to enable me to have a more expectant heart for His goodness.  Psalm 27:13 says “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the LORD In the land of the living.” (NASB)

Kelly

Christian radio has been a great blessing in my life. Today, Pastor David Jeremiah had a great message on the people who missed Christmas.

Today’s Radio Broadcast

Why Some People Missed Christmas | December 16, 2013

Bible Strong

Discover the kind of people who miss Christmas and the ones who don’t in Dr. David Jeremiah’s message, “Why Some People Missed Christmas.”

Take a moment to listen at http://www.davidjeremiah.org/site/radio