Tuesday, August 28, 2007

A very sweet treat...

After lunch today, we had a special treat to celebrate Audrey’s birthday. She is one of my graphic designers here at the studio. Her grandmother, Joy, made a wonderful blueberry coffee cake for her to share with us. Joy is known by her family and friends to make delicious desserts, and this one is Audrey’s favorite. All of us at the studio enjoyed the cake so much, I wanted to share the recipe with you!

Bon Appetit!

Joy’s Blueberry Coffee Cake

2 Eggs
1 1/2 Cups of Butter
2 1/2 Cups of Sugar
2 1/2 Cups of Self-Rising Flour
1 Cup of Sour Cream
2 Cups of Blueberries

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Mix the eggs, butter, sugar, flour and sour cream together. Then, lightly sprinkle the blueberries with a pinch of extra sugar. In a regular bundt cake mold, pour in a third of the batter and then a layer of blueberries. Repeat the layering step two more times. Bake for 1 hour or until lightly browned. Enjoy!

Be creative! Instead of blueberries, try apples, bananas, or crushed pecans sprinkled with cinnamon. Or add chocolate syrup for an extra moist cake!

Monday, August 27, 2007

The Love of Horses

“The essential joy of being with horses is that it brings us in contact with the rare elements of grace, beauty, spirit, and fire.” ~Sharon Ralls Lemon, Editor of Horse Illustrated magazine

This past weekend I headed to Brays Island to spend time relaxing and riding horses with my family. It is a beautiful island full of historic southern architecture to visit and endless nature trails for riding. We were thrilled to take our own horses on this trip; my daughter Erin drove the trailer down herself! I love to ride horses- it’s an exciting way to explore a landscape and I feel more connected to God’s awe-inspiring creation everytime I saddle up! Everyone in my family appreciates the strength and beauty of these amazing animals, as we have raised several horses on our farm. We love them as members of our family, are grateful for their help on the farm and enjoy riding whenever we can. Erin is especially drawn to horses and has fostered special relationships with each of ours. She is involved in every aspect of riding from basic care to elaborate dressage training and sees horses as a catalyst for healing in children and adults. I love watching her ride and am amazed by her control and agile grace as she does so. Erin’s connection is a joy for me to witness and I am so proud of her many accomplishments in the equestrian field. Horseback riding is much more than a hobby to her, it is a passion that I know she will use to touch the lives of others for many years to come.


Sunday, August 19, 2007

My Mother's Birthday Celebration

Our home on the family farm is often the gathering spot for special family events. Everyone loves returning “home” to the farm to share fellowship and festivities with one another. Yesterday my relatives joined Al and me to celebrate my mother’s birthday. The afternoon was spent visiting the barn and exploring the land on the gators, our farm vehicles. The children love visiting and feeding the many animals - the horses and pigs are always up for a peanut butter treat too! It was just the way my mother wanted to spend her special day, surrounded by family and fun. For dinner we had a casual cookout - however, it is always an event when my husband, Al, and brother, David, are in charge of the grill! We spent the evening sharing cake, stories, and many hugs. Our mother has blessed us and her grandchildren with much joy through the years and it was wonderful to spend the evening together showing her our love. It was a delightful day for all!


Friday, August 17, 2007

Empty Nest?? - NEVER!!

This morning Al and I woke up extremely early to make a trip to Boone, North Carolina. The mountains up there are so beautiful! The trek was not for vacation though; it was to move our youngest child, Sam, into Appalachian State University for his freshman year. Having made similar trips in the past with my older children, I knew that it would be a trip of mixed emotions. The feelings of joy and pride as Sam embarked on a new chapter in his life were familiar, as were the sad goodbyes said with heavier hearts – which never gets any easier, even for the third time!

Al and I returned home thinking we were officially "empty-nesters." But, just as everything seemed a little quieter, I heard our dog Scout playing in the kitchen and the pigs squealing down the hill from our house. Then my daughter Erin called and asked to bring friends over for a barbeque. So, I guess our nest isn't that "empty" after all… and honestly, I wouldn't have it any other way! -Susan