Monday, December 23, 2013


I hope you all have wonderful and blessed CHRISTmas! As I will be enjoying my family to the fullest, I will be taking a break from blogging until the end of the Year. See you in January 2014. God bless! - Rejoicing in the Present

Thursday, December 19, 2013

A Yummy Christmas - Chocolate Truffles

Easy TrufflesHere is another delicious YET easy "yummy" to make with your kids over the holidays.  Most of the ideas are from pinterest :)
We all want to bring the "killer dessert" for the boss's Christmas present. Here it is: easy and so GOOD! This is from parnellspantry. Thank you Parnell!

 Traditionally,truffles are made by melting cream and chocolate together,and adding a variety of flavors.In this recipe,sweetened condensed milk is used instead,and it makes a sweet,rich truffle.The mixture may be made ahead of time,making it a great treat for entertaining,or even gift giving.The truffles keep well in the refrigerator for at least a week.

 What you need...
18 oz. chocolate chips(semi-sweet or milk,or a combination,it's your choice)
1 14oz. can of sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. vanilla
optional toppings such as sprinkles,nuts,coconut,etc.

What you do...
  1.  In a double boiler,melt the chocolate and sweetened condensed milk,stirring occasionally until smooth.
  2. Let the mixture cool,then refrigerate for at least one hour.
  3. Remove the mixture from the refrigerator,and roll into balls.
  4. Immediately roll into your topping of choice.If not serving immediately,keep refrigerated.
***Again,the chocolate mixture may be melted using a microwave,but I prefer a double boiler.
***I used a few drops of green food coloring to make the coconut a light shade of green.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Yummy Christmas - Candy Cookie Trees

1-christmas tree cookie conesHere is another delicious YET easy treat to make with your kids over the holidays. Most of the ideas are from pinterest :)
This is from GREAT JOB CCC. I love it

What you need...
  1. Sugar cones
  2. Cookie batter
  3. Chocolate chips
  4. Candy toppings,
  5. Lollipop sticks.
Here’s how to make it:
If needed, lower the top rack in the oven so that the sugar cones won’t be too close to the top of the oven.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Remove the sugar cones from the package and put them in an upright dish for easy handling.  A sundae dish or tall mug works well for this.
Add about 1 tablespoon of cookie dough into the bottom of each sugar cone.  I used cookie dough from a recent recipe I made called Chocolate Toffee Caramel Cupcookies.
The dough should fill about ½ of each sugar cone.
The empty space that’s left at the top of the sugar cone should be enough room for the dough to rise (if there is too much dough in the sugar cone it will run over the sides in the oven).
Set the cones aside while you prep the foil.
Squeeze each piece of foil into a tight donut-type shape with a small inner circle so that the tip of the sugar cone will fit tightly in the middle of the foil.
Lay each piece of crumbled up foil at the bottom of a bread loaf pan.  Add the sugar cones bottom side down (with the pointy side down) into the foil.  Squeeze the foil tightly around the cones so they stand up straight.
Add more crumbled up pieces of foil in the bottom of the pan if needed to prop up the cones securely.
If you’re baking a few of the sugar cones at a time, a bread loaf pan works well; or if you’re baking all of the sugar cones at one time, a large pan with similar depth such as a roaster pan works well.
Bake in a preheated oven for about 18 minutes or until the cookie dough is cooked.
Keep a close eye on the sugar cones to make sure the tops don’t burn.
When the cookie cones are done, remove them from the oven.  Leave them in the baking pan and while they are still hot, add chocolate chips in the middle of the cone all the way to the top of the cone.
Then add a lollipop stick in the middle of each cone poking it through the chocolate chips and the soft cookie.
Let the cookie cones cool completely in the baking pan.
Add the candy coating to a small bowl and heat it in the microwave for 25 seconds.  Then give it a stir if possible.
Then heat it for another 25 seconds and give it another stir.  If it still needs more time heat it for another 10 seconds.
Hold the cookie cone by the stick in one hand and with the other hand dip the back of a small spoon in the candy coating and spread it on to the sides of the cookie cone.
Spread it on a bit thick so that there is enough area for the candies to stick.
Then immediately add the toppings to the candy coating so they will stick.
Let the candy coated cookie cones completely cool.  (wow…that’s a hard sentence to say fast ten times).
Some options for storing the cookie cones while they cool are to put them stick side down in a tall mug, medium size glass, sundae dish, or in between the holes on a cooling rack stand.

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

A Yummy Christmas - Chocolate Pretzel Wreath

Chocolate pretzel wreaths
Here is another delicious YET easy treat to make with your kids over the holidays. Most of the ideas are from pinterest :)

What you need

  1. Small Pretzels
  2. Melting Chocolate
  3. Decorative Icing
  4. Parchment Paper
What you do
  1. Melt your Chocolate
  2. Dip your pretzel halfway into the chocolate and lay on the parchment paper
  3. Keep dipping and immediately lay the pretzel touching each other in the direction of a circle
  4. Do this until it completes a circle and then start over on top of the circle. Make 3 layers. The chocolate should be touching
  5. Once the chocolate pretzels have hardened you can decorated the top
YUMMY and cute! - Rejoicing in the present

Monday, December 16, 2013

True Love

Ok, so most of us have watched those outrageously romantic proposals on youtube, where the guy gets about half the town in on his proposal and then ends in a romantic candlelight for him and her. She is overwhelmed and is crying buckets over his grand proposal, but what if you were asked in the McDonalds parking lot? What if it was so unromantic and boring? Well let's talk about Boring Men. Thank so huffingtonpost for this interesting article...

So not every guy proposes with lip syncing, rolling cameras, and a choreographed entourage.
Yeah -- so what if your dad didn't?

He just pulled that beat-up Volkswagon Rabbit of his over in front of Murray Reesor's hundred acre farm right there where Grey Township meets Elma Township, pulled out a little red velvet box, and whispered it in the snowy dark: "Marry me?"

"He didn't even get down on one knee or anything?"

You boys ask it incredulously, like there's some kind of manual for this kind of holy.

And I've got no qualms in telling you no. No, he didn't even get down on one knee -- it was just a box, a glint of gold in the dark, two hallowed words and a question mark.


I know. When you've watched a few dozen mastermind proposals on youtube, shared them with their rolling credits on Facebook, marveling at how real romance has an imagination like that.
Can I tell you something, sons?

Romance isn't measured by how viral your proposal goes. The Internet age may try to sell you something different, but don't ever forget that viral is closely associated with sickness -- so don't ever make being viral your goal.

Your goal is always to make your Christ-focus contagious -- to just one person.

It's more than just imagining some romantic proposal.

It's a man who imagines washing puked-on sheets at 2:30 a.m., plunging out a full and plugged toilet for the third time this week, and then scraping out the crud in the bottom screen of the dishwasher -- every single night for the next 37 years without any cameras rolling or soundtrack playing -- that's imagining true romance.

The man who imagines slipping his arm around his wife's soft, thickening middle age waistline and whispering that he couldn't love her more.... who imagines the manliness of standing bold and unashamed in the express checkout line with only maxi pads and tampons because someone he loves is having an unexpected Saturday morning emergency.

The man who imagines the coming decades of a fluid life -- her leaking milky circles through a dress at Aunt Ruth's birthday party, her wearing thick diaper-like Depends for soggy weeks after pushing a whole human being out through her inch-wide cervix, her bleeding through sheets and gushing amniotic oceans across the bathroom floor and the unexpected beauty of her crossing her legs every time she jumps on the trampoline with the kids.

The real romantics imagine greying and sagging and wrinkling as the deepening of something sacred.

Because get this, kids -- how a man proposes isn't what makes him romantic. It's how a man purposes to lay down his life that makes him romantic.

And a man begins being romantic years before any ring -- romance begins with only having eyes for one woman now -- so you don't go giving your eyes away to cheap porn. Your dad will say it sometimes to me, a leaning over -- "I am glad that there's always only been you." Not some bare, plastic-surgeon-scalpel-enhanced pixels ballooning on a screen, not some tempting flesh clicked on in the dark, not some photo-shopped figment of cultural beauty that's basically a lie.

The real romantics know that stretch marks are beauty marks and that differently shaped women fit into the different shapes of men's souls and that real romance is really sacrifice.
I know -- you're thinking, "Boring."

Can you see it again -- how your grandfather stood over your grandmother's grave and brushed away his heart leaking without a sound down his cheeks?

Fifty boring years. Fifty unfilmed years of milking 70 cows, raising six boys and three girls, getting ready for sermon every Sunday morning, him helping her with her zipper. Fifty boring years of arguing in Dutch and making up in touching in the dark, 50 boring years of planting potatoes and weeding rows on humid July afternoons, 50 boring years of washing the white Corel dishes and turning out the light on the mess -- till he finally carried her in and out of the tub and helped her pull up her Depends.

Don't ever forget it:

The real romantics are the boring ones -- they let another heart bore a hole deep into theirs.
Be one of the boring ones. Pray to be one who get 50 boring years of marriage -- 50 years to let her heart bore a hole deep into yours.

Let everyone do their talking about 50 shades of grey, but don't let anyone talk you out of it: commitment is pretty much black and white. Because the truth is, real love will always make you suffer. Simply commit: Who am I willing to suffer for?

Who am I willing to take the reeking garbage out for and clean out the gross muck ponding at the bottom of the fridge? Who am I willing to listen to instead of talk at? Who am I willing to hold as they grow older and realer? Who am I willing to die a bit more for every day? Who am I willing to make heart-boring years with? Who am I willing to let bore a hole into my heart?

Get it: Life -- and marriage proposals -- isn't not about one-upmanship -- it's about one-downmanship. It's about the heart-boring years of sacrifice and going lower and serving. It's not about how well you perform your proposal. It's about how well you let Christ perform your life.
Sure, go ahead, have fun, make a ridiculously good memory and we'll cheer loud: propose creatively -- but never forget that what wows a woman and woos her is you how you purpose to live your life.
I'm praying, boys -- be Men. Be one of the 'boring" men -- and let your heart be bore into. And know there are women who love that kind of man.

The kind of man whose romance isn't flashy -- because love is gritty.

The kind of man whose romance isn't about cameras -- because it's about Christ.

The kind of man whose romance doesn't have to go viral -- because it's going eternal.

No, your dad did not get down on one knee when he proposed -- because the romantic men know it's about living your whole life on your knees.

There are Fridays. And the quiet romantics who will take out the garbage without fanfare. There will be the unimaginative calendar by the fridge, with all it's scribbled squares of two lives being made one. The toilet seat will be left predictably up. The sink will be resigned to its load of last night's dishes.

And there is now and the beautiful boring, the way two lives touch and go deeper into time with each other.

The clock ticking passionately into decades.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

A Yummy Christmas - A Chocolate Tree

HERSHEY'S Chocolate Candy Trees
Here are some delicious YET easy "yummies" to make with your kids over the holidays. Most of the ideas are from pinterest, :)
Thanks to for this yummy idea!

What you need...

  1. 1 eight pack REESE'S Peanut Butter Cups
  2. 1 10-ounce bag HERSHEY'S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolate
  3. 1 12-ounce bag REESE'S Peanut Butter Cup Minitures
  4. Thick royal icing
  5. Nonpareils
  6. Parchment paper
What you do...
  1. Unwrap eight REESE’S Peanut Butter Cups, eight HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Milk Chocolates and 16 REESE’S Miniatures.
  2. Place one REESE’S Miniature top-down on a sheet of parchment paper. Then use a dab of royal icing to attach the bottom of a REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup to the REESE’S Miniature.
  3. Place a dab of royal icing on the top of a second REESE’S Miniature, then press it top-down onto the center of the REESE’S Peanut Butter Cup.
  4. Place a dab of royal icing onto the bottom of a HERSHEY’S KISSES Brand Chocolate, and attach it to the center of the REESE’S Miniature.
  5. Repeat steps two through four to create eight trees. Then, decorate with royal icing and nonpareils.
  6. Refrigerate trees until ready to serve. Makes 8 trees.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

There is Hope, His Name is Jesus

When I am down, I pull this song out and encourage myself, that there is a Redeemer and there is HOPE because He lives. Take a moment and watch this...

There is Hope! I love these lyrics…

...especially “Cause I talked to Him this morning. Do you know that your Redeemer lives? Have you had a chat with Him this morning or afternoon"  There is hope because our Redeemer lives! - Rejoicing

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Hope & Healing

Maybe you have come to Jesus and you have asked for healing but you feel you have been ignored.

 Tony Hudson goes on to say in KINGDOM WOMAN that there are 4 types of healing

  1. He can supernaturally heal you
  2. He can use human means to remedy your condition
  3. He can give you strength to handle your condition until He corrects it
  4. He can enable you to persevere through the pain on earth until your full healing is made manifest in Heaven
Our desired type of healing and God’s can be quite different at times.
A young girl prayed for her grandmother to be healed from a serious illness and when she died, the girl grew bitter at God.  She thought that God had ignored her request.  What she didn’t realize is that God had answered her prayers.  Her grandmother had no more pain, no more sickness and was with the Father that loved for and cared for her more then anyone could possibly care.

 God may teach you something through your trial.  He may bring you closer to Him through it all.  He may bring others to Him through you.  The most important thing is to have spiritual healing and to have peace that no matter what happens, no matter what trial you are going through, that God is in control. Come to Him, let him handle your trial and thank Him for the outcome.

 “I want to encourage you to hang in there. A Kingdom woman sets her eyes on Jesus, and He strengthens her to be all she was created to be.” – T.H.

Monday, December 9, 2013


I am reading KINGDOM WOMAN by Tony Hudson and his daughter Chrystal.  It’s been encouraging as well as helpful.  This is partially where “Being More Productive by Doing Less” came from.
This week we are going to talk about HOPE.  If there is something that seems to be lost in our world it is Hope.  The world pretends to provide it but more and more we see less and less of it.

This book has been so helpful, that I want to share a summary of the "Hope” chapter.  I feel like it could help someone today.  You may be down, and discouraged.  The same issue or trial that you have faced has been with you for years and you can’t seem to fight it off.  There is Hope and His name is Jesus.  Here are some thoughts…

When Cinderella and the Prince fell in love, he didn’t leave her with her evil step-mom, he took her out of that bondage and to his castle. Jesus wants the same for you…

He doesn’t just want to bring His money to you, His castle to you, or His chariot to you. He wants to bring you to Him. He wants to take you out of the bondage and let you live in the freedom of His presence and provision. He wants to show you your new position and your new glory. He wants to get you out of a spirit of slavery. He wants to give you hope.” – T.H.

 “Before you give up, look up”... “It isn’t summed up in just going to church more or doing more good things.  It’s about connecting with the One who gives hope.”

Tony goes on to tell us about the lady in Luke 13 who was crippled; she was in church when she met Jesus, she probably had attended that church for 18 years, singing, giving, and praising God, but she wasn’t free.  Church in and of itself does not help, but Jesus does.  Where everyone had dealt with the fruit of the problem, he dealt with the root.  Her issue was not the crippling but that she was bound by the devil. I t was deeper then what people saw.

The reason why so many people end up bound by issues is that they try to address the circumstances rather than appealing to the One who can address the root.” – T.H.

In the book, he talks about the immediate change and what took place.  Jesus told the lady to “come to Him.”  She had to leave what she was doing, the people she was with and come to Him.  When she did, she received freedom from her issue.

Friends, JESUS WON.  He conquered the devil and death itself.   I’ve read the last chapter.  We will win.  Yes, the devil has power (too much) but Jesus has more.  There is HOPE and His name is Jesus. Go to Him today.  “Cast your cares on Him, for He careth for you.” - Rejoicing

Friday, December 6, 2013

Snow-Dipped Oreos

This is a super easy, fun activity for your kids, during this cold, snowy season. How did this come about? Well that is good question. :-) Our church had a ladies cookie exchange over Christmas and since my kitchen floor was being redone, I had to come up with a creative way to make cookies without baking. So here it is...

What you need...
1. Oreos
2. White Chocolate
3. Sprinkles

What you do...
1. Melt the chocolate in the microwave. (Read the instructions)
2. Stir up the chocolate

3. Dip the Oreos half way into the chocolate, or spoon on the chocolate

4. Sprinkle!!!

This is fun, festive and EASY!

Thursday, December 5, 2013


We all love variety and especially at Christmas.  I love when a friend or neighbor gives us a plateful of different cookies.  When we were kids we would go to my grandma’s house and she would bring out a huge tray of a variety of yummy cookies and candy.  It was a yearly highlight.

 We would all love to spend time baking, but sometimes, we just don’t have the time.  Plus, we may have decided to do less, so what do we do?  Here is a GREAT idea.  I was invited to a cookie exchange about 10 years ago and I have loved the idea ever since.

 What do you do?

  1. Invite 12 friends/church members to bring 12-dozen (or ½ dozen) of their favorite cookies.
  2. Everyone tastes a few of their favorite cookies and then
  3. They all exchange 1 dozen
  4. Voila. You get 12 varieties of cookies.

You can box the cookies up and give to neighbors, co-workers and family. It makes your baking REALLY easy. You only have to make one kind. It makes it simple and productive. J - Rejoicing in the Present

 P.S. Last year, I didn’t have a kitchen since my floor was being worked on.   So I made snow-dipped Oreos.  (Oreo’s Dipped in white chocolate, sprinkled with sprinkles) See recipe tomorrow

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Christmas Productivity

Ok, so it’s almost CHRISTMAS and we have a house to decorate, presents to buy, parties to go to, parties to throw, food to shop for, cookies to make, and all the while remembering and honoring the true meaning of Christmas.

SCREECH! PUT ON THE BREAKS!!!!  What is the goal for your Christmas?!?  What is the point to Christmas?  What do you want your children to come away with this Christmas?  “We got the most presents?”  “We had the most memories?”  “The food was yummy.”  “Mom was stressed.” Or “Mom was not stressed”

So ask yourself some questions again.

  1. GOALS
    1. What do you want accomplished this Christmas?
    2. What can be crossed off the list?
    3. Is it about Jesus’ Birthday or Christmas Holidays?
  2. Who can help me?
    1. How much can you actually afford without hurting your finances?
    2. Can you hire someone to help with the workload and spend less on presents and decorations? Thus giving the gift of a stress-free mom. :)
    3. Check at church and see if there is a responsible teenager or college students that wants some spending $$$.  They will do more for less $$.
    4. What can the children do? What can dad do?
  3. What can your friends do?
    1. What are your talents? Can you share talents?
    2. Maybe you’re a better decorator and a friend is a better cook. Your friend can make you some freezable yummy dishes for the holidays while you come over and decorate her house.
    3. Maybe you can take her kids while she does some shopping for you.
  4. Decorations
    1. What is the point? Do you want to give the house a warm holiday, Christmas feeling or do you have to have “the house” on the street?
    2. Are you focusing on the manger and the true meaning of Christmas?
    3. Just because you were given all those decorations by your dear relative does not mean they all have to be put up.
  5. Presents
    1. How much do you have to spend financially?
    2. How much do you need to spend?
    3. Do you really need to buy all of those family members and friends a present?
    4. MAKE A LIST OF THE "YES" PEOPLE and write ideas and then what you have already ,bought so that you can remember everyone. Organization lessens stress.
    5. Can a friend or teen wrap your presents?
    1. HAVE A COOKIE EXCHANGE (We will talk about that tomorrow J)
Make a list and then stick to it.  Cut out and delegate as much as you can.  Dip into your gift/decoration $$ and get help.  It will be the memories your children share with you, that matter 15 years from now, rather than the presents you bought or having the #1 house on the street.  Do less and have a better time.  Include your kids on cooking, cleaning and decorating.  Give them some great memories this year. - RITP