Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Sweet Peaches & White Chocolate Chip Cookies

I always look forward to peach season. . .
their fresh sweetness is long-anticipated throughout the months
and then the time arrives - peaches are plucked from the trees 
and soon desserts begin rolling out of the oven tickling our senses with delight.


These cookies are like small pieces of moist cake 
and they're filled with juicy peaches and white chocolate chips.
How about the recipe, dear friends?


Ingredients needed:

1 1/2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and diced
6 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
and lightly grease two baking sheets; set aside.

Peel and dice the peaches and place in a bowl; set aside.
In a large mixing bowl, stir melted butter and sugar together.
Add sour cream and vanilla; mix well.
Stir in baking soda, baking powder, and salt.
Add flour a cup at a time until mixture is well combined.
Fold in white chocolate chips.

Drop spoonfuls of dough onto prepared baking sheets
(smaller spoonfuls are better).
Bake for 12 - 15 minutes.
Insert a toothpick into the center of cookie to check doneness.
Cool on a wire rack.

You will want to keep these cookies refrigerated in an air-tight container.

* * * These cookies are very moist and cake-like. * * *


Peach season won't last much longer so enjoy, sweet friends!

Sunday, September 28, 2014

The Solid Rock

Life with Christ is an endless hope;
without Him a hopeless end.
- Anonymous -


My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus' blood and righteousness;
I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly lean on Jeus' name.

When darkness veils His lovely face,
I rest on His unchanging grace;
In every high and stormy gale
My anchor holds within the veil.

His oath, His covenant, His blood
Support me in the whelming flood;
When all around my soul gives way,
He then is all my hope and stay.

When He shall come with trumpet sound,
O may I then in Him be found,
Dressed in His righteousness alone,
Faultless to stand before the throne.

Refrain
On Christ, the solid Rock, I stand-
All other ground is sinking sand,
All other ground is sinking sand.
- Edward Mote -


For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid,
which is Jesus Christ.
- 1 Corinthians 3:11

The Christ
He is a path, if any be misled;
He is a robe, if any naked be;
If any chance to hunger, He is bread;
If any be a bondman, He is free;
If any be but weak, how strong is He!
To dead men life He is; to sick souls health;
To blind men, sight, and to the needy, wealth;
A pleasure without loss, a treasure without stealth.
- Giles Fletcher, Jr. 1588 - 1623 -

Have a blessed Lord's Day!

* * * * *

Linking up with:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Saturday, September 27, 2014

Palace Of Darkness - Book Review

In an ancient city carved from stone, one desperate young woman searches for peace—
in the calm before the deadly clash of empires.
 In 106 AD, a single mother can be certain of one thing—destitution.
So Cassia and her six-year-old son flee to Petra,
her late husband's birth city, in hopes of finding refuge in the loving arms of family.
But the great stone city is not what Cassia imagined.
And a secret about her husband reveals her son's true bloodline,
making the boy the target of a royal conspiracy. 
In her darkest hours, Cassia finds herself surrounded by followers of the Way,
a subversive new religious group whose disciples are frequently sentenced
to arenas with starved lions and blood-soaked sand.
Why would this sect seek out more danger by helping her?
And what kind of religion gives freely and asks for nothing in return?
Roman soldiers soon surround Petra, immersing the city in panic
and further endangering her son,
and Cassia realizes he cannot be saved by human efforts alone.
Her only hope lies with the followers of the Way . . .
and her willingness to trust their One True God.

My Thoughts

This is the first novel of Tracy L. Higley that I have read
and I was pleased with how rich her content is.
Tracy thoroughly researches the history of what she is writing about
and does a wonderful job of sharing this content with her readers.

Palace of Darkness,
a historical fiction, is set in Petra about 100 years after Christ.
Tracy paints quite a picture of the believers during this time
and the persecution they endured.
 As I read the book, I was again reminded of how blessed we are to live
where we can worship our Lord and Savior openly.
There are many lessons to be learned from Palace of Darkness,
lessons of love, courage, and faith.

The characters are strong and well-portrayed.
Cassia, the mother of Alexander, is a fighter,
and she will do anything to keep her son safe.
To see the spiritual growth in her life throughout the book 
is refreshing and uplifting.

Julian, a man that has seen what happens to believers,
is very courageous, yet he doesn't know whether or not to live a quiet life,
or a life spent proclaiming Jesus.
He meets Cassia and wants only to help her protect her son,
but in order to help he must first lean on Christ. . .

In Palace of Darkness you will see how menacing, dark, and real evil can be
and how we must keep our guard up against Satan at all times.
You will also see how powerful, loving, and forgiving our great God is.
There is victory in the Lord God.

** I was given a complimentary copy of this book from BookLook Bloggers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own and no other compensation was received. **

About the Author

Tracy L. Higley is the acclaimed author of such beloved historical novels as
Garden of Madness and The Queen's Handmaid.
She has traveled to Greece, Turkey, Egypt, Israel, Jordon, and Italy,
researching her novels and falling into adventures.
She writes novels that transport readers to ancient times and places.
See her travel journals and more at TraceyHigley.com

Friday, September 26, 2014

LAST CHANCE To Sign Up For The Tea Cup & Mug Exchange

Just a friendly reminder that today is the last day
to sign up for the Tea Cup and Mug Exchange.

As always, there is a wonderful group of ladies all signed up
and we would love for you to join as well.
I have been working on who will send to who
and I would love to add your name to the list :)

All you have to do is email me at
kekepania525@gmail.com
and let me know you want to exchange a tea cup, mug, or both.

You can also click on the picture for all of the details.


Join the fun, dear friends - you won't regret it :)
Today is the last day to sign up.

Happy weekend to you!

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Delicious Soap For Autumn From Soap 'N' Such

Yes, I said "delicious" soap.
Have you ever used soap that smelled so good you just wanted to eat it?
Well, Judy who blogs over at Cranberry Morning
sells homemade soap at 
and her soap is just that - delicious!


The first time I ordered soap from Judy I got the Raspberry Sorbet soap
and when I opened the package its sweet fragrance filled the air
and my son said to me, "Mom, can we eat it?"
I felt the same way - it seriously smelled good enough to eat!
Needless to say, we did not eat it, but enjoyed its yummy fragrance while washing with it.

When I saw Judy was selling Pumpkin Spice soap I knew I had to order some for Autumn.
I thought it would be the perfect soap to use during this delightful season.
The pumpkin scent is warm and inviting
and makes my skin smell like the sweetness of Fall.


When I was looking around her shop
I saw Berries & Spice and decided to give it a try a well.
Oh my friends, what a divine scent!
It smells like Autumn and Christmas all rolled into one.
I love the sweet scent of the berries and the tangy smell of the spice- 
it's a perfect combination.


Judy's soaps are natural, vegan, handcrafted, and have essential oils in them.
She never uses animal products in her soap.
The bars of soap are 4.5 - 5.0 ounces and lather up nicely.


Looking for some extra Autumn sweetness for your skin?
Judy's soaps are the perfect answer :)
Visit Judy at her Etsy shop

and at her lovely blog


She has many soaps to choose from such as 

Apple Spice,
Lemon Verbena
Fig and Brown Sugar
English Rose
Orange Spice 
Coffee Soap
and so much more!

You can't go wrong with any of them.

Have a beautiful day, my friends!

* * * * *

Tomorrow is the last day to sign up for the Tea Cup and Mug Exchange.
Don't miss out on the fun!
Click on the picture for details.


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Autumn Flower Bouquet

Happy Autumn, lovely friends!

Cozy nights,
hot tea and coffee,
captivating books,
wool blankets,
cheery cardigans,
knee high boots,
charming scarves,
sweet pumpkins,
yummy cinnamon,
crunchy leaves,
blissful breezes.

All the things Autumn brings puts a smile on my face and a skip in my step.

Welcome, sweet Fall!
What do you love about this time of the year?

I am beginning to bring Fall-ish items out into my home
and of course I have to make a few things as well :)
I made a delightful little flower bouquet that will go in my living room by some old hymnals.
The flowers are made out of felt and are so easy to make!


What you need:

felt
wire stems
embroidery floss
needle
pinking shears
hot glue gun and glue
vase

For one flower you will need two circles (about 3-inches in size) of felt.


Place the two circles of felt together;
thread the needle with the embroidery floss
and sew a running stitch around the center.


Gently pull until tight then wrap the thread around the bottom two times; knot.


Poke a hole with the wire through the bottom of the flower; pull wire out.
Cut out a smaller circle of green felt (or whatever color you want)
and poke the wire through the green circle, apply hot glue to it,
and then poke into the flower bottom where you already made a hole.


You can decorate your vase or leave it as is.
I added some rose lace with hot glue and a mini clothespin 
that held a Scripture verse that my sweet friend Abby sent to me a while ago.



And that's it, dear friends.


The days may not be so bright and balmy—
yet the quiet and melancholy that linger around them is fraught with glory. 
Over everything connected with autumn there lingers some golden spell—
some unseen influence that penetrates the soul with its mysterious power. 
Northern Advocate


Enjoy the first day of Autumn!
Hugs and blessings to you.

* * * * *

Linking up with:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Never Give Up


Never be sad or desponding if thou hast faith to believe;
Grace, for the duties before thee, ask of thy path will be clear.

What if thy burdens oppress thee; what tho' thy life may be drear;
Look on the side that is brightest, pray, and thy path will be clear.

Never be sad of desponding, there is a morrow for thee;
Soon thou shalt dwell in its brightness, there with the Lord thou shalt be.

Never be sad or desponding, lean on the arm of thy Lord;
Dwell in the depths of His mercy, thou shalt receive thy reward.

Chorus
Never give up, never give up,
Never give up to thy sorrows, Jesus will bid them depart.
Trust in the Lord, trust in the Lord,
Sing when your trials are greatest, 
Trust in the Lord and take heart.
- Fanny J. Crosby -


When Trials Come
When trials come no longer fear
For in the pain our God draws near
To fire a faith worth more than gold
And there His faithfulness is told
And there His faithfulness is told

Within the night I know Your peace
The breath of God brings strength to me
And new each morning mercy flows
As treasures of the darkness grow
As treasures of the darkness grow

I turn to Wisdom not my own
For every battle You have known
My confidence will rest in You
Your love endures Your ways are good
Your love endures Your ways are good

When I am weary with the cost
I see the triumph of the cross
So in it’s shadow I shall run
Till He completes the work begun
Till He completes the work begun

One day all things will be made new
I’ll see the hope You called me to
And in your kingdom paved with gold
I’ll praise Your faithfulness of old
I’ll praise Your faithfulness of old.
- Keith and Kristyn Getty -


May we never give up, dear friends.
There is victory in Jesus our Lord!
Have a blessed Lord's Day!

* * * * *

Linking up with:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Fried Peach Hand Pies

Hello friends!
Have I told you lately how thankful I am for all of you?
And let me just say that each and every one of you are a peach :)

Speaking of a peach. . .Diane from Lavender Dreams
shared some fried peach pies on her blog this week.
Well, she didn't actually share them with her readers,
but she did share a tasty looking photo that had my mouth watering - thanks Diane!
I have never had fried peach pies - am I the only one in the dark?
I decided to change that and whipped up some fried peach pies that very night.
Oh boy. . .I can't believe I have been missing out on these for so long!
If you are like me and have never had fried peach pies
than I suggest you make some. . .now! :)


I couldn't find a recipe online that I liked
so I decided to mix my peaches with ingredients that I enjoy.
Let me share with you. . .


Ingredients needed:

- Peach filling -
2 large peaches, peeled and sliced
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon cloves (optional)
1 - 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon water

In a medium saucepan, add the peaches and mash with a fork.
Add all of the other ingredients and cook over medium heat for 7 - 10 minutes,
or until bubbly and thick.
Set aside and cool.

- Pie Crust -
1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/3 cup vegetable shortening
4 -5 tablespoons water

In a medium bowl stir together flour, salt, and sugar.
Using a pastry blender, cut in shortening until pieces are pea-size.
Slowly add the water and gently mix with a fork.
Roll the pie dough out on a floured surface.
Cut out 6-inch circles (I used a salad bowl).
Repeat this process until the dough is used up - I got 6 circles.

Spoon the peach mixture onto the circles (don't fill it too full), 
fold the circle in half and seal the edges with a fork- 
if the dough is sticky dip the edge of the fork into cold water before pressing the dough together.

Heat up 1/2 cup vegetable shortening in a skillet, add the hand pies
and fry on each side for 3 - 5 minutes, or until golden brown.
Place on paper towels and gently dab at the grease
then transfer to another plate and sprinkle with granulated sugar.


Enjoy the sweet taste of peaches in these delicious fried pies.
Visit Diane's blog and see her yummy fried pies that inspired me :)


Have a delightful day, dear friends!
Sweet as a peach. . .


My Ebony has a little message for you. . . :)


* * * * *

Don't miss out on the Tea Cup and Mug Exchange.
Click on the link below for all of the details.

* * * * *

Linking up with:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Tea Cup and Mug Exchange #5

The time has arrived for the long-awaited tea cup and mug exchange!
The days are slowing down as Autumn draws near
and the evenings are growing cooler - a perfect time to enjoy a hot drink.


It's quite easy to participate and I know you will thoroughly enjoy yourselves.
The exchange is open to everyone from around the world.
The more the merrier and who doesn't love making friends from another country?
Also, you DO NOT need to have a blog, this is for anyone.

Let me explain what needs to be done for joining this exchange. . .

1. Email me at 
kekepania525@gmail.com 
to let me know you would like to participate.
If you want to do both the tea cup and mug exchange than that is just fine.
Please let me know if you want to send out both.

2. In your email PLEASE let me know if you are okay with shipping overseas.
If you do not want to ship overseas than that is no problem, just let me know either way.

3. Purchase a tea cup or mug or you can send one from your own collection;
it's completely up to you :)
If you send one from your own collection 
please make sure it's in good condition with no stains or chips.
Tea cups or mugs from antique or thrifts stores are also fine,
but again, please make sure they are in good condition.

4. You are welcome to add additional tea items to your package,
but this is NOT NECESSARY!
You may do as you please, dear friends.

5. HAVE FUN!
You will send a tea cup to a special someone and receive a tea cup from a special someone else
so you will be making two friends in the process.

 *** If you sign up for the exchange and then later find out you're not able to join
PLEASE let me know ASAP! ***


Sign up for the tea cup exchange will start today, September 16th
and will go until September 26th so we have 10 days to sign up and spread the word.
I will email each one of you on September 27th
with the information you need to send your special someone her tea cup.
We then have until October 4th (a week) to get the package together and shipped out.


And finally...I will have a linky on my blog towards the end of October
so that we can share our treasures with everyone.
If you do not have a blog then you can send me pictures of your new tea cup or mug
and I will put them on my blog for all to see.

So does everything make sense, lovelies?
You can email with any questions that you might have:
kekepania525@gmail.com


The tea cup exchanges in the past have been a tremendous blessing
and I know this one will be as well so please join us for some sweet fun.
You can see what others have received from the other exchanges
by clicking on the links below:





I will email each one of your throughout the exchange with updates and reminders :)
Also, if you have a blog you are more than welcome to share the tea cup and mug exchange 
with your friends and followers by using the picture below to place on your sidebar.
Just copy the HTML code and paste it onto your sidebar.

Tea Cup and Mug Exchange

I am looking forward to having you join the fun, sweet friends!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Only One Life

Find your purpose and fling your life out into it;
and the loftier your purpose is,
the more sure you will be to make the world richer
with every enrichment of yourself!
- Phillips Brooks -


Only one life to offer - my Lord and King;
only one tongue to praise Thee and of Thy mercy sing;
only one heart's devotion - Savior,
O may it be consecrated alone to Thy matchless glory,
yielded fully to Thee.

Only this hour is mine, Lord - may it be used for Thee;
may every passing moment count for eternity;
souls all about are dying; dying in sin and shame;
help me bring them the message of Calvary's redemption
in They glorious name.

Only one life to offer -  take it, dear Lord, I pray,
nothing from Thee withholding, Thy will I now obey;
Thou who hast freely given Thine all in all for me,
claim this life for Thine own,
to be used, my Savior, every moment for Thee.
- Avis B. Christiansen -


According to my earnest expectation and my hope,
that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldness, as always,
so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body,
whether it be by life, or by death.
For to me to live is Christ,
and to die is gain.
- Philippians 1:20, 21 -

Have a blessed Lord's Day!

* * * * *

Linking up with:
Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth

Saturday, September 13, 2014

A Bride In Store

Impatient to meet her intended groom and help him grow his general store,
mail-order bride Eliza Cantrell sets out on her travels a week early.
But her plan goes sadly awry when her train is held up by robbers
who steal her dowry, and Axel, her groom-to-be, 
isn't even in town when she finally arrives.

Axel's business partner, William Stanton, has no head for business
and would much rather be a doctor.
When his friend's mail-order bride arrives in town with no money and no groom in sight,
he feels responsible and lets her help around the store - where she quickly proves
she's much more adept at business than he ever will be.

The sparks that fly between Will and Eliza as they work together in close quarters
are hard to ignore, but Eliza is meant for Axel and a future with the store,
while Will is biding his time until he can afford medical school.
When Axel finally returns, their troubles are far from over,
and soon Will and Eliza must decide what they're willing to sacrifice to chase their dreams-
or if God has a new dream in store for them both.


My Thoughts
Have you ever started a book and been drawn into the story 
on the very first paragraph of the first chapter
or been smiling and sighing on the very last paragraph of the epilogue?
Well, this book will do just that!
It has been a while since I got caught up so quickly in a story- 
usually it takes a few chapters for me to get into the characters and plot.
This is one of those books that I did not want to come to an end,
it's one of those stories that is worth savoring and reading over and over.
I must admit that when I chose to review this book I was a little skeptical
because mail-order bride books can become repetitive,
but this mail-order bride book was a pleasant surprise and a delightful read.
There is humor, love, a little mystery and thrill, as well as spiritual growth
in the lives of Will, Axel, and Eliza.

Eliza is not physically beautiful like most typical female characters in a book,
but it's her beautiful qualities that draws Will to her when he first meets her.
I found the character of Eliza to be quite special because she undergoes a sincere
heart transformation throughout the book where she learns it's not always about herself
but rather about God and His desires for her life.

Will, a charming, caring, and kind young man falls for his best friend's lady,
but tries to keep his eyes and heart focused on saving enough money 
so that he can soon head off for medical school.
This isn't always easy since circumstances continue to propel him and Eliza together.
I really appreciated Will's hunger for doing right and living for the Lord- 
it's an amazing testimony to the readers.
As Will struggles with constantly thinking about someone who is off-limits
he is encouraged by Everett to reign in his thoughts.

Everett propped his arms on his knees,
"Well, then I'd say you've got thought problems.
Second Corinthians tells us to bring every thought unto captivity 
and make it obedient to Christ.
If you memorize that verse 
-every time you realize your mind is not where it's supposed to be-
you can recite it, turning your thoughts in a God-honoring direction."

"What if another pops into my head soon after?"

"The Bible says every thought.
God know's we're going to have to capture more thoughts than one." -pg. 93

Out of the many, many books that I have read this one is among the top favorites.
You will be engaged by Melissa's writing and also surprised more than once 
with the turn of events throughout the chapters in the characters lives.
I would highly recommend this book - it's a joy to read!

** I was given a free copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers for an honest review.
All thoughts are my own. No other compensation was received. **

About the Author
Melissa Jagears, author of A Bride for Keeps, is a stay-at-home mother
on a tiny Kansas farm with a fixer-upper house.
She's a member of ACFW and CROWN fiction marketing,
and her passion is to help Christian believers mature in their faith and judge rightly.
Find her online at www.melissajagears.com

Friday, September 12, 2014

Book Exchange Link-Up

Well, the first ever book exchange took place a month ago
and now it's time for those that participated to link up.
The book exchange was a blessing to me
and I hope it was a joy to the other ladies as well.
I am hoping this exchange is the beginning of many more in the near future :)
After all, who doesn't love a good book?

Okay, let's get started. . .

Sandra, a kind lady who I met through a previous tea cup/mug exchange on my blog
had my name and she gave me Prelude for a Lord 
which I have been wanting for quite a while.
I am eagerly looking forward to reading this book
and have an idea it's going to be a good one :)
Thank you so much, Sandra, for the wonderful surprise!



I sent a book to Christy and added a few little "extras."
The book I chose for her sounded amazing 
and I was so tempted to read it before I sent it off to her - isn't that just awful!
I didn't, but decided I needed to find out more about this author
so thanks to Christy, I now have several books added to my "must read" list :)
Here is what I gave her. . .


Hot tea is always nice while reading a good book.


There were a few ladies that participated that do not have blogs
so I will share the photos of what they received.

Betty was given a lovely package of goodies from Deborah.
She even included a tea cup that is very beautiful
and look at those wonderful vintage books!


Diane received a wonderful crochet book from Melinda
along with some pretty yarn.


Jen got this beautiful package from Betty.
And another stunning tea cup - look at the pretty handle!


Sarah was given this delightful quilt book and beautiful fabric from Pamela.
Here is what Sarah said,

"I received a lovely pink package in the mail from Pamela. 
From the feel of it, I could tell it was a book plus some surprises!  
Upon opening it, I discovered a beautiful copy of the newest edition of 
"Quilts! Quilts! Quilts!" which was the title I had hoped for!  
Only I had used the original edition before, and had no idea they came out with updated ones.  
I will be putting it to good use this coming winter, 
for I have quite a stash of scraps to use up.  
I piece all my quilt tops on my antique treadle machine, 
and this new book has some great patterns, tips, and COLOR pictures!  :)  
Along with the book, Pamela included two gorgeous note cards
 (with photos of quilts on them, of course :) )
 and two lengths of gorgeous pink coordinating fabric...
one with roses on it and the other with a pretty vine design.  
I already have an idea for the quilt I'll work those into... :)  
Many thanks to Stephanie for hosting this book exchange 
and to Pamela for the sweet and thoughtful package!  :)"


Thank you, ladies, for joining and participating in the fun!
Enjoy your new books.

For those with blogs, please link up below by adding the direct link to your book post.
Have fun visiting the other participants.

Have a delightful weekend, friends!

* * * * *

Missed out on this exchange?
No worries. . .the long-awaited tea cup and mug exchange 
starts next Tuesday, September 16th.
Come back then and check out the details.

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