Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Fathers of Faith and Daughters of Excellence Retreat

My friends Frederic Gray and his lovely wife Heather are hosting a retreat weekend for Fathers and Daughters in Tampa, FL.  It is a wonderful opportunity for fathers to connect with their daughters and to affirm their special bond in a luxurious setting.  Best of all, it reinforces the Biblical approach to father-daughter relationships, rather than the cultural norms of society today: 

"While recognizing the God-given sovereignty a father has in the methods he uses to implement God’s plan, the Fathers of Faith and Daughters of Excellence Retreat will look at the principles, teachings, commands, examples, and lessons that are found in the Bible. This will all be done in a context of examining our culture’s influence on the father-daughter relationship in contrast to God’s plan for the family."

One of the speakers will be Jennie Bishop, author of The Princess and the Kiss and The Squire and the Scroll, two of our favorite books!

“Purity starts with the heart and goes to the body,” Jennie says. “Relationships should be treasures, not toys.”

 This retreat will be held in the incredible Safety Harbor Resort and Spa, and fathers and daughters will be treated to a fine banquet, keepsake portraits, a lovely bracelet for fathers to present to their daughters, fun and fellowship, and most of all, an opportunity to feast on the Lord's truth for their relationship.

Learn more and register at

And, through July 31st, sign up to win a $100 Amazon gift card at

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Granny's Layered Pineapple Cake

While visiting my grandma several years ago, she made a yummy, layered pineapple cake that my husband fell in love with.  Well, anytime that HandyManlyPapa expresses his appreciation for a particular delectable dish, I try to procure the recipe for my files.  My grandma, affectionately known to my children as Granny, generously shared her recipe on a paper plate.  It's not pretty, but it's her handwriting, and it will remain in my recipe collection forever.

This is an easy recipe, and although I do generally prefer recipes made from homemade ingredients, for special occasions I use boxed ingredients as the recipe dictates.  This is not a fancy-smancy gourmet food blog!  Most recipes I post will be down-home comforting foods, or focusing on ease of preparation and feeding my brood healthfully and economically.  I am always looking for the delicate balance of practicality and good nutrition.  Or sometimes, I just make tasty, family recipes like these, which have the added benefit of being super easy to make!

Granny's Pineapple Cake starts off which baking a yellow cake mix according to the box directions.  I don't buy a particular brand, just whatever is on sale.

After mixing up the cake, I pour it into an 11x14 baking dish.  Normally, I'd bake a cake like this in a 9x13, but we want to have plenty of room for all the yummy layers!

While the cake baked, I worked on my Great Kitchen Flip Flop, which I'll be blogging about later.  We moved into this house only a few weeks ago, and I am still getting my kitchen set up just the way I want.  With four kiddos, it's impossible to have one free day to get it all done, so instead I work on it a few minutes while cooking or cleaning up.  Eventually I'll have a well organized kitchen again!

When the cake is finished baking, I pull it out onto the stove and begin making the pineapple topping.  It's super easy; just pour a can of crushed pineapple and a cup of brown sugar into a sauce pan and heat it up until mixed to sweet pineappley goodness. 

 Then, poke holes in the still warm cake.  There's no rule, just as many holes as you're moved to make.  Some days, that may be more than others!  I like a well pineapple juice-saturated cake, so I make lots of holes for the sauce to sink in to.  You can use a fork or whatever is handy, but I prefer to use the end of a plastic chopstick.  My little guys particularly enjoy helping out with this step.

Next, I spread the pineapple sauce over the top of the cake.  It will be pretty juicy at first, but most seeps into the cake and you end up with a nice pineapple layer.

I let the cake cool for a bit at this point and meanwhile, mix up a large box of instant vanilla pudding.  By the time I prepare this and leave it in the fridge for a bit to set, the cake has cooled some.  Then I spread the pudding over the top of the pineapple layer.
Slice up a few bananas and spread the slices over the pudding.  This is another step little helpers love, especially since mama doesn't mind them taste-testing the bananas. 

Finally, spread a tub of Cool Whip over the banana and pudding layer as a fluffy frosting.  I usually stick the cool whip in the fridge an hour or two ahead so it won't be frozen anymore and spreads easily.
At the end, you have a lovely, layered, Pineapple Cake.  Easy to make and a treat for the whole family. 

Happy Birthday HandyManlyPapa!  

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

That First Awkward Post

So, it's time to get it over with- the first awkward post to a new blog.  Do I write a dorky introduction or do I just jump right in as if I've been blogging here all along, and you the reader are the newbie?  Later, when my blogs are fascinating and scintillating, will an enamored reader scroll down to find where it all began, and realize I am simply a simple mom trying to figure it out as I go?  Do I give an overview of my purpose and then go into more detail later, or shall I start with the first idea jangling round in my head and hope for the best?  Maybe I search for something inspiring to say, some reason for someone to spend a precious minute or two peeking at my corner of the web?  Or perhaps I give up waiting for inspiration to strike and just do this thing already!  I'm just rambling now, but whatever the case, the first post is posted and I can ease into regular blogging without all the pressure of coming up with just the right thing to say for my very first post.