Last Wednesday evening brought a close to a journey I began at Bethel College, now University, over four years ago. While my journey did include some obstacles, ultimately I have accomplished what I set out to do, receive my Master’s Degree in Organizational Leadership. I actually already had my diploma and was going to decline to walk though the commencement ceremony, but after further thought I decided to take part in the tradition that graduates have participated in for centuries.
And am I ever glad that I did! The setting was beautiful, the music delightful, and the speakers empowering. This journey began as a search for personal growth and seeking out a new challenge. The past 4 years have not only fulfilled my desire for personal growth and new challenges, it has also brought many changes that were influenced by my experience at Bethel.
I shared the evening with some very important people in my life, my parents and my boyfriend, Aaron. Their support and encouragement have given me the drive and determination to complete this accomplishment in my life. Thanks to all of those who put up with me during that time! Below are some photos from the evening.
Feel free to share…
Most people that know me, know that I like to bake and cook. The rest of you out there, may have gathered that from some of my blog recipe posts. Well with the holidays upon us, it is time for some marathon baking. The other year, my best friend and I decided to do a sort of Christmas bake-off. We each prepared several varieties of cookies and got together to bake, decorate & share them, and have some fun. We had such a good time doing it, that we got together last Sunday to do it again.
It is a great way to get a real variety of treats for those Christmas parties, and holiday get togethers. The oreo truffle recipe, is still one of my favorites, but here is another good one to try:
Mint Surprise Cookies
1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1-1/2 tsp. vanilla
3 cups flour
1 box Andes mints
Mix butter, sugar, and eggs together with a mixer, and add the vanilla. Measure the flour and add to the mixture. Break the mints in half. Roll the dough around the mint to form a ball. Decorate with sprinkles, or colored sugar. Bake for 10 minutes.
It is that time of year again, the holidays. I always enjoy the holidays, as it is an opportunity to spend more time with family and friends, give thanks, and of course celebrate the birth of Christ. There are however, some people who have a hard time during the holidays and may feel lonely, sad, or depressed. This year especially, with a slow economy, it is important to stay positive and be thankful for what you have.
I wanted to pass along a few links I found and enjoy that are inspirational and motivational:
Thanks for reading!
“The Twelve Days of Christmas,” is a popular Christmas carol, that many of us have probably sang at one time or another. Many people however, are confused as to which days are actually considered the “actual twelve days.” As a matter of fact, Chris and I had this very discussion today, while at lunch, and decided it would be a good blog topic.
Many people, including myself, naturally assume that they are the twelve days just before Christmas. According to The Twelve Days of Christmas by Dennis Bratcher, “Contrary to much popular belief, these are not the twelve days before Christmas, but in most of the Western Church are the twelve days from Christmas until the beginning of Epiphany (January 6th; the 12 days count from December 25th until January 5th).” ” The popular song ‘The Twelve Days of Christmas’ is usually seen as simply a nonsense song for children. However, some have suggested that it is a song of Christian instruction dating to the 16th century religious wars in England, with hidden references to the basic teachings of the Faith.”
According to The Twelve Days of Christmas, on Snopes.com, there are in fact, many symbols of Christian meaning throughout the song. I don’t know about you, but I found this very interesting and wanted to pass this information along:
- A Partidge in a pear tree—Jesus Christ, the son of God
- 2 Turtle doves—The old and new testament
- 3 French hens—Faith, Hope, and Charity, the Theoloical virtues
- 4 Calling birds—The 4 Gospels/4 evangelists
- 5 Golden rings—The first 5 books of the Old testament, known as the Torah or the Pentateuch
- 6 Geese a laying—The 6 days of creation
- 7 Swans a swimming—The 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit (the 7 sacraments)
- 8 Maids a milking—The 8 beatitudes (Blessed are the poor in spirit, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure in heart, the peacemakers, those who are persecuted for righteous sake)
- 9 Ladies dancing—The nine fruits of the Holy Spirit
- 10 Lords a leaping—The 10 Commandments
- 11 Pipers piping—The 11 faithful apostles
- 12 Drummers drumming—The points of doctrine in the Apostles Creed
Thanks for reading!
I found this recipe online and wanted to share it with you. It is perfect for holiday entertaining, especially if you will be having house guests. They can be made ahead of time, or they are also great hot out of the oven. Trust me, your guests will love them!
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 tablespoons brown sugar
4 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
5 tablespoons white sugar
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
3 tablespoons butter
tablespoons chopped pecans
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups white sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/3 cups canned pumpkin
1/3 cup olive oil
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- Preheat over to 375 degrees. Grease and flour 18 muffin cups, or use paper liners.
- To make the filling: in a medium bowl, beat cream cheese until soft. Add egg, vanilla and brown sugar. Beat until smooth, then set aside.
- For the streusel topping: in a medium bowl, mix flour, sugar, cinnamon and pecans. Add butter and cut it in with a fork until crumbly. Set aside.
- For the muffin batter: in a large bowl, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder, cinnamon and salt. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs, pumpkin, olive oil and vanilla. Beat together until smooth.
- Place pumpkin mixture in muffin cups about half full. Then add one tablespoon of the cream cheese mixture right in the middle of the batter. Try to keep cream cheese from touching the paper cup. Sprinkle on the streusel topping.
- Bake at 375 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes.
Feel free to share…and enjoy!