It was a beautiful clear day as we pulled into the church drive.  Bikes, furniture, electronics, books, and a whole lot of clothes lined the parking lot.  The kids set up their lemonade stand and lined their table with cookies. They waited patiently for the yard sale to open and the first people to arrive. I couldn’t help but smile as I witnessed their excitement to serve…all by themselves.If only my spelling mistakes were this cute…The yard sale opened at 10:00 with a flood of people.  My favorite part was greeting.  Each person I met was so very different, but their reactions were all the same. The yard sale was free, the cookies, lemonade, and hot dogs were free.  Completely free.  A few friendly arguments took place concerning where the donation jar was located.  But that was just it…there was no donation jar.  Everything really was free.  Why?  Because God’s love is free.  You don’t have to do anything to earn it, you just receive it.  Jesus showed this by giving his life for you and me, so that we could be free, have a relationship with God here on earth and one day…one day dance, sing, be with him in Heaven.  A free gift that is a whole lot better than a free toaster.The boys played a little football.

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As I payed the local farmer for a bunch or rhubarb…I was a little skeptical.  Rhubarb and I have only crossed paths once, that I can recall, and it didn’t leave the best impression.  As I chopped up the vegetable I put a piece to my tongue.  I almost stopped right then and there as Matt witnessed a look of bitter disgust come across my face.  He however popped a piece in his mouth and continued on with his reading.  Can you even eat rhubarb raw?

I continued mixing and popped this recipe into the oven.  I don’t know what happened over the course of a half hour, but I am no longer a skeptic.  These crumb bars are absolutely delicious!!! Finger licking lip smacking in I am off to eat another.

(The original recipe is gluten free.  Rice flour, quinoa, and almond flour interchanged wonderfully for all purpose.  I also substituted potato starch for corn starch. I couldn’t find mulberries so I used 1 cup strawberries and 1/2 cup blueberries. If you try this recipe as is, gluten free, I would love to hear how it tastes. I simply don’t have all of those special flours on hand.)

You can find the recipe by Canelle et vanille here.  Her food photography is stunning.

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1. When it comes to decorating, I get sick of things quickly. My solution…to recover the pillows.  I have been searching for weeks for the perfect pattern combination only to find that Jo-Ann’s fabrics only carries teddy bears and tonka trunk patterns. Since I fell in love with designer pillows, I decided to make the fabric.  A little paint, fabric, thread and viola…3 one of a kind pillows.  They really are one of a kind as I attempted to also sew them by hand…eek!  Matt said I gave each an artistic touch…I would call that a really crooked sewn line.

Here is there good side…
2.The pillows were made to match these…and these I truly am lovin.  Plywerk turned our favorite pictures from Nepal into artwork for our walls.  They took our pictures and adhered them to custom designed maple or bamboo blocks already to hang and display.  The style perfectly matched the raw natural beauty of Nepal.

3. These galoshes would have been perfect in Nepal, as we visited during monsoon season.  Although, they are getting there fair share of use here during our rainy season and would really appreciate a break…just for a day or two?

4. While I am sure we would all appreciate some sunshine, I am very thankful for all of the veggies and fruit that are popping up at our local farmer’s market. I was hoping to find some zucchini to give you a sneak peak of tomorrow nights dinner, but I had no luck.  I did however find some rhubarb. Let’s see what I can bake up.

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The kids, at our church, are going to be running a lemonade stand at our community yard sale this coming Sat.  They will be giving out cookies and lemonade to all of you shoppers who want to swing by. And I am super excited !!!

1. I get to clean out my closet.  Excited? Yup! Now I will be able to shut the closet door without putting my back into it!

2. I love garage sales. I may invest in a Flyer wagon way before I have kids just for garage sale shopping.

3. Fresh Lemonade.  MMMMmmm:)

4.  Cookies…and I think I found the perfect recipe for all of you Cookie Monsters.

It all started with this Kid Candy Cookie recipe I found in the Food Network Magazine(below).  But, I didn’t have peanut butter chips, or bark bittersweet chocolate.  So I decided to just dump a whole bag of pretzel m&m’s in and 1 cup of chocolate chips leaving out the peanut butter chips and toffee.  I tested a cookie…and something was missing.  So I added two handfuls of toffee and tested a cookie.  Nope…something was still missing.  So I added (oh maybe 1/2 cup) peanut butter. And whoooaa that did it!!!  Amazing! But I seriously only recommend a 1 cookie serving because these cookies are loaded! I am sure these would be kid recommended and mother approved with an apple and good run around the back yard.

Kid Candy Cookies

2 1/4 cup flour

1 tsp baking soda

2 sticks butter

1 cup light brown sugar

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 tsp salt

1 tablespoon vanilla

1 egg plus 1 egg yolk

1 cup pretzel m&m’s ( lightly crushed, or let your mixer crush them as it all mixes)

3 oz bittersweet chocolate chopped

1/2 cup toffee pieces

3/4 cup peanut butter chips

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I was walking just a few steps behind him on the trail in an old t-shirt, soccer shorts, and unwashed hair. Clearly I had no idea that he was going to propose.
I remembered that day, nearly two years ago, as we jumped from rock to rock following the river downstream.  We skipped rocks, basked on a large rock in the sun, and as always took the hardest path.  I loved being with him in the peace of the woods.  It is here that we dream of traveling the world… living in cities to villages, but we will always return to the beginning. Skipping rocks on the river in an old t-shirt, mud stained and needing a shower. Do you see the creepy eyes in this picture?

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