Historical Romance

Historical Romance with an Inspirational Touch

Monday, September 27, 2010

It's All in the Makeup

Blogging over a LadyScribes today. Stop by if you get a chance

Sunday, September 26, 2010

A New Sunday School Year

I don't know if I have mentioned this, but I teach 6th Grade Sunday School every other week. This is my favorite grade to teach, and I have taught from 1st grade into high school. There is just something about 6th graders. They start thinking. I am sure they thought before, but they become more confident in who they are and begin to question a lot of things they accepted automatically as a child.

Another thing with 6th graders is they have learned many of the lessons more than a few times. By this age most of them have been in Sunday School since they were 3. Therefore, the Bible Stories and lessons are not new. They just delve a little deeper. This was brought home the first lesson of the year. We began with Genesis 1. One of the kids asked "Are we going to learn about this again."

What she was saying was she wanted to be fed with new information. Granted, the Bible stories are old, well-loved, and something we should know and learn from and sometimes live by. What this child wanted was something more to challenge her, interest her, give her something to really think about and go beyond the Bible stories that were already familiar to her. Therein lies one of the challenges of teaching 6th graders. They thirst for more and more. If I don't come through and make it interesting, they will probably be bored, tune out, and possible ask their parents if they could skip Sunday School. Which would be very, very bad.

But, how do you teach The Beginning with more depth, interest, flare? Admittedly, I didn't do very well. Oh, we read the Bible. Discussed Creation. But, as it was the first class for these 6th graders as 6th graders with me and we spent time catching up. However, I still have the challenge of keeping them engaged. And, the answer was discovered last year.

One of our lessons involved playacting. I've never seen the kids embrace an activity the way they did acting. After that, I wrote a play for each and every lesson I taught. This is fairly simple since the words are already there. You just type it out in script form. Unfortunately, this happened about 6 weeks before the year ended. I plan on doing this with all the lessons I teach. Unfortunately, my challenge for Sunday is to write a play for 10-16 students to act out, or direct. The story - Cain and Abel. Hmmm, this could be a challenge.

Do you teach Sunday School? If so, what kind of challenges have you faced? Any advice to help the children grow and keep them engaged?

For this week, I would like you to continue to pray for my mother, my sister-in-law's mother and sister, my niece, as well as a young man, who is missing his mother (she passed away four months ago). How can I pray for you this week?

Friday, September 24, 2010

Weekend Commentor?

I've come up with different plans so that I can stay up on blogging - writing, reading and commenting. But it has never worked out as planned. Then again, how often d0 our plans go exactly the way we thought?

I will save the question for another day. Today, I am trying to figure out how I can keep up with everything.

We all know it is not that difficult to write a blog. Some are short and sweet, others can go on and on, and some are inpsired. However, what takes time is keeping up with all of the blogs we love. And believe me, there are a LOT of blogs I love. However, I don't have time to read them during the week and this saddens me. After working all day, family, writing and theater projects I've gotten involved in, I have no time left for blogs, unless I wish to give up sleep. But, I think I may have come up with the answer.

Last Saturday, after I woke and grabbed my coffee I began reading blogs. I was at my computer for a few hours and was able to read and comment on almost a weeks worth of blogs. I loved it and it was a great way to start the weekend. I didn't feel rushed and I was able to enjoy. No pressure to try and keep up (forget ahead of the game).

So, that is my plan (for the moment anyway). I am not going to beat myself up on trying to stay on top of blogs during the week, but get caught up over the weekend when I have more time to enjoy and comment.

Do you think it matters so much if a comment comes in a few days later than the post? I wouldn't mind, but perhaps others track daily traffic. If so, sorry.

What about you? Do you have a sure fire plan that helps you mix blogging in with other things in your life during the week? And, would you prefer someone comment on the same day you post or are you okay with the weekend reader?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010


I really don't watch that much TV. In fact, I don't think I would need all of my fingers to count them off and list them. Most of the time the shows I like are recorded for viewing at a later date (and so I can fast forward through commercials). But the shows I love most are the reality ones. Not Survivor and such, but the ones I think the competitor needs to have a creative talent and see if they excell.

One of my favorites is Top Chef. However, I cannot watch that show without getting hungry. That tends to be a problem (for the waistline). I used to love to cook. In fact, I used to spend hours in the kitchen creating meals. But with each child the meals became more and more basic. Now that they are older, I am inspired to try my hand at the more elaborate dishes.

Another show, which I am excited about but haven't yet seen is Top Chef: Just Desserts. It is recorded and just waiting for me to push the Play button. I think if this show inspires me I will need to spend more time exercising to even out the damage I may do with calories.

Next up is Project Runway. I love seeing what these designers come up with when given the assignment. A lot of the time there are outfits or dresses I just love. Unfortunately, I am pretty sure the clothing wouldn't look half as good on me as it does the models given there is probably a good 7-8 inch difference in height. Ya, I am a bit short. Hmmm, I wonder if they have ever had to design for a petite woman. That could be interesting, as it always is when the designers are thrown out of the comfort zone and need to design for a body style other than the long-legged models they are used to.

Then there is Top Design. This one is not airing right now, but I try to never miss it. I could not do half the things those designers are able to accomplish, but it is fun to see what they come up with for different rooms. And, I often walk away with a few ideas. I beleive my husband may cringe when this show comes on since it often results in me saying "Honey, I think we should. . ."

Another is Cupcake Wars, which I mentioned in my last post so I won't spend any more time on that show.

I am sure their are a couple of others, but I can't think of them at the moment.

Maybe it is because I like to be creative with writing and makeup when in the theater I enjoy watching shows were talented people are put to the test. Do you watch reality TV? If so, what are some of your favorites?

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Prayer - It is Such a Simple Thing

Prayer is simple, yet evolving and life changing. If you are like me, as I child I associated prayer with meals, bedtime and church. I am pretty sure I didn't pray at any other time in the day. And, a child's prayer is usually so simple, wherein they ask God to bless their mother, father, grandparents, pets, etc. For most children, they do not have burdens or concerns that lay heavy on their heart.

As we mature our prays begin to evolve. Teenagers may find themselves praying at different times of the day. Sometimes it is before a big test, or hoping a certain someone notices them and asks them to a movie or dance. But, they are also mature enough to be concerned with more important issues, such as helping a friend understand faith, or another friend who is making poor decisions in their life and seeking God's guidance in how best to help their friends.

Adulthood arrives and we begin to finally grasp the power of prayer. I know I have found myself praying a different parts of the day, whenever a need arising, or a praise needs to be acknowledged. As adults, we understand how prayer can be life changing, especially when you experience that peace that only comes from being in communication with God.

Yet, while it is life changing and evolving, it is still the simplest and easiest thing we can ever do.

My prayer concerns this week include my mother, who has not been feeling well, my sister-in-laws mother and sister need God's healing touch and my niece will soon have surgery. Please remember them in your prayers.

How can I pray for you this week?

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Cupcakes – Where have I been?

To me, cupcakes were the things I made for my child’s birthday parties, or large family dinners. You can’t beat the convenience of the perfect serving size, wrapped in a paper to keep your fingers from getting sticky, and no need to dirty a plate and fork, and to send your kids on their way (usually encouraging them to go outside). Mine were made of chocolate, vanilla, yellow or frankly, any cake mix that happened to look good on the grocery shelf that day. Throw on some frosting and it is good to go. If I was feeling adventures or more festive sprinkles were added. Cupcakes were, well, cupcakes. And, since I am not much of a cake lover, I figured these were good enough since I received no complaints.

At least that was my attitude until this last spring. I’ve come to learn that cupcakes do not have to be boring. Erin Kelly, one of my critique partners, makes a pina colada cupcake to die for. I’ve had the pleasure of enjoying these twice and am ready for more. The two pictured are the Margarita and Pina Colada Erin shared with us last spring. The one pictured below is Vanilla on Vanilla with a Chocolate Wolf, which I assume was inspired by the Paranormal Historical Regency Triology by another critique partner, Lydia Dare. All of the pictures were provided by Erin.

Besides delivering delicious cupcakes when she attends conferences, Erin also posts some of her recipes (not just cupcakes but other wonderful recipes too) on her blog at http://haveyourcakeandreadittoo.blogspot.com/. I have not had the courage to try and bake one of her cupcakes yet because I am fairly sure they won’t be nearly as good. However, I think I will attempt to tackle one of them this holiday season. But, as it is only September, let’s not think of the holidays just yet.

I thought Erin was basically a great baker who liked to share her cupcakes. I had no idea of the cupcake phenomenon out there until my critique group mentioned Cupcake Wars one evening. What? Backup, what are Cupcake Wars? Well, it turns out to be a reality /competition show on the Food Network. The competition begins with 4 bakers and each has an assistant. At the end, it is down to 2 competitors who have to design a display for 1,000 cupcakes, which they have to bake (with the help of 4 additional bakers). As soon as I found out about this show I started watching. I am hooked, as I am with most of these types of shows. But, my reality TV addiction is better left for another blog. Most of these competitors have cupcake shops/stores. Again, I had no idea stores like this existed. We certainly don’t have any where I live, which is probably a good thing since I have recently developed a liking for cupcakes.

But, it doesn’t end with the show. One of my critique partners recently shared a blog she found which only purpose is to seek out cupcake bakeries in New York City and report their findings from where the bakery is located and the cupcakes they ate. http://www.nycupcakeguide.com/ Since I plan on attending the RWA National Conference next year, which is in NY, I may just have to take an extra day to do my own cupcake tour, relying on this blogs recommendations. Though, I may save the tour for after the conference so I don’t have to worry about my clothes not fitting during the conference. I’ll bring something loose to wear on the plane home in anticipating of cupcake consumption.

I guess my main question is, when did cupcakes become such a big deal? Not that I think anything is wrong with it, but I have to wonder where I have been while all this was going on because these ain’t your mama’s cupcakes?