Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Wednesday Ponderings . . .



Once upon a time the Devil decided to have a sale of all the tools of his trade. Oh my goodness, but everything did look lovely. Each article displayed quite beautifully in the plate glass window of his store. Laid against the most beautiful cloths, all were on display . . . his keen edged dagger of jealousy . . . his sledge hammer of anger . . . . his arrows of lust and covetousness . . . his bow of greed . . . his special weapons of vanity, fear, envy and pride . . . and underneath each was labelled each individual price.

One weapon though was set above the rest in a place of honor. Beautifully framed and set apart, was a small wedge . . . dented and marked with use. The name of this wedge . . . DISCOURAGMENT . . . It's price was higher than all the rest of the tools combined.

People gazed through the window, taking in all the goods and pondering their prices and searching their hearts to see if they had what was necessary and required to purchase any of these tools. All were aghast at the high price of the wedge, for it seemed smaller, older and more beat up than the rest. Finally one brave person got up enough courage to ask the Devil why there was such an amazing difference in the price. The Devil replied . . .

"It is because this is the one tool that I can use when all the other's fail. Let me get that little wedge into a man's consciousness and it opens the way for all the other things. That tiny wedge has opened more doors for me than all of the other tools combined."




It is so easy to become discouraged when things are not going the way we want them to. When we become discouraged our hearts feel low and we become weak and susceptible to things we normally wouldn't even give a thought to. Sometimes it seems like it's not just "one of those days" . . . but "one of those weeks." Those are the times that I just fall on my knees, and turn to the Saviour, for that is when I need Him most of all. I trust in His promises . . . to lift me up when I am down, to pick me up when I fall, to carry me when I feel like I can just not move forward another step of the way.

To each of us He extends the wonderful invitation . . .

“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light” ~Matthew 11:28-30

Rest . . . I know which tool I'd rather take hold of . . . and I know which yoke I'd rather wear. To me the choice is easy . . .



I did a little moxy little girl yesterday afternoon when I was playing with my pencils and paints. To me she seems to say . . . "Bring it on boys! Anything you can do I can do better! I'll be posting her in her entirety HERE later today.

I made some cute cupcakes yesterday for the little fella next door. I sure miss having kids around, and my grandsons live too far away to be able to spoil on a daily basis, so it's really nice that I have a little boy right next door that I can make treats for once in a while. He doesn't seem to mind one bit! I used my ordinary vanilla cupcake recipe and then I decorated the tops with Vanilla Buttercream and a few odds and sods. To make the ears, I cut through large marshmallows, getting about four slices from each. This created a lovely oval shape. I dipped the cut edges into some pink sprinkles. The cheeks are Raffeallo chocolates, carefully sliced in half, and for the nose a pink sugar decoration. The eyes are pink dragees and I added a tiny sugar flower. I thought they turned out quite cute!



*Easter Bunny Cupcakes*
Makes 18

Vanilla cupcakes:
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup vegetable shortening, room temperature
(Crisco, Trex, White Flora)
3/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla
2 large eggs
A quantity of Vanilla Butter cream icing (see below)
various decorations (marshmallows, coloured candies, etc.)



Pre-heat the oven to 180*C/350*F. Line 18 muffin cups with paper cupcake liners. Set aside.

Whisk the flour, sugar, baking powder and salt together in a large bowl to combine. Add the shortening, milk, vanilla and eggs. Beat with an electric whisk until all the ingredients are just blended. Spoon equal amounts into the paper liners in the muffin cups, filling each one no more than 2/3 full.

Bake for 20 to 22 minutes, or until they test done. (A toothpick inserted in one should come out clean and they should bounce back when lightly touched with a fingertip.) Remove from the pans immediately to wire racks to cool completely before continuing.

Once they are completely cooled, frost and decorate as you wish.

*Vanilla Buttercream*

1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
4 cups sifted icing sugar
1/4 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla

Place the softened butter into a large bowl. Beat in 2 cups of the icing sugar. Then beat in the milk and the vanilla. Gradually beat in the remaining 2 cups of icing sugar until the icing is thick enough to be of the right spreading consistency. You may not need all of the sugar.



These lovely little Easter Cupcakes have been my entry into an Easter Cake Contest being run by Julia of A Slice of Cherry Pie. This is the third year she has run this contest. All you have to do to get in on the fun is to bake a cake or little cakes for Easter, and then post about them on your blog, including a link to Julia's event. (closing date April 2oth) Hop on over (no pun intended) to read all the details, and Happy Easter!


23 comments:

Heatherfeather said...

These are adorable, Marie! How creative and cute.

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Those little cupcakes are adorable. How nice you have someone to make treats like that for. Little ones in our lives do make for some joyful times. I was blessed to see some of mine last weekend and it is wonderful to see their faces light up when they are happy. I hope your Wednesday is a great one. 'On Ya'-ma

Jan said...

Those cupcakes are so cute Marie!!

Pamela said...

Your cupcakes are adorable, Marie. That's a lucky little boy who lives next to you!

Nanny Ree said...

What cute little Easter cakes thanks for sharing & thanks for your lovely comments on my blog! Marie x

Schotzy said...

Those cupcakes are the cutest thing I've seen this year! And oh my, buttercream....yum!

Tracy said...

Those cupcakes are incredible, Marie! I just can't stop smiling and laughing...they are tooo, tooo cute...Look at those cheeks on 'em! :o) Those are just perfect for Easter! tee-hee...Here I wasn't going to bake anything for Easter, we're trying (emphasis on the try! ;o) to cut back on sugar. Too many temptations here--LOL! LOVE your little girl illustration--very sweet. So sorry to have missed our chat last night. I will email you all the whys...LOL! Hope we get to chat during the holiday weekend coming up. LOVE YOU HEAPS ((BIG HUGS))

FrankandMary said...

I'm trying to lose 10 pounds so anything with the word "cupcake" in it is A NO for me right now :-0.
All that baking of bread I was doing was intended for charity, but I sampled my products too much. I will, however, pass this entry to a few of my friends with little kids because I think they are adorable for the season. ~Mary

Carol said...

the cupcakes are adorable, Marie.
Thanks for the recipe I hope mine will turn out as cute as yours.

Happy Easter!

StitchinByTheLake said...

A good reminder Marie - discouragement is a powerful tool and we have to work hard sometimes to combat it. God can overcome. blessings, marlene

honeysuckle said...

Hi Marie, I really needed that lesson on discouragement this week as I had to come home from paradise (California) to snow and to leave my sweet little grandson I was feeling blue. As you said, I prayed for felp and feel so much better. You are right that it will lead us to all the other sins if we let it. Thanks for the reminder.
Your cupcakes are adorable. I wish I could just buy some from you! and what a lucky little boy next door!! Have a wonderful week.

♥Rosie♥ said...

Very adorable cupcakes Marie! I saw this event on Julia's lovely blog.

Angie said...

Never mind little boys next door, I know a big boy who would like these cupcakes. Actually I know a girl as well!

Keith (ungrateful wretch that he is) would complain that they wouldn't travel very well to work. Yeah? So?

love Angie, xx

Maryann said...

You have so much talent. Writing, painting, cooking. You are the bomb :)

Grammy Staffy said...

These are so cute. Loni and I are going to make these for Easter. I don't know what Raffeallo chocolates are or dragees??? but I will try to find something else to use and get a similar effect,

You are right about discouragement... It gets a hold on me from time to time...like now with our sweet babe in the hospital... but you are right...we must have faith.

Thanks for your faith and prayers in our behalf.

I love your new little Moxy girl...and I love you too. Lura

Grandma 'Kiss' said...

I love the story. Thank you. We are certainly in a time when that tool is being used extensively. It is vital to know who the true provider of it is.

Susan said...

Those cupcakes are soooooo cute, Marie! They look tasty too!

The Blonde Duck said...

I love those! I'm going to have to find a little one to make these for! They're SOOO cute!

Bunny said...

OH MY GOSH Marie these are adorable!! You've done a fantastic job making these!!

jenjen said...

Marie -
Those cupcakes are so darling! I love them!!!

Thanks for the uplifting words about discouragement. t is so easy to let things get you down. You always lift my spirits!

XOXO
Jen

Gloria said...

Your bunnies are sooooo cute! I love them. my dear Marie. Send you huggs and love. to you and Todd!!


(Im SO happy by Lura and Erin I saw the baby yesterday is wonderful!) xoxoxoxo Gloria

beachmom15 said...

YUMMY!!!! looks so delish!!! I hope you have a wonderful week. Thanks for dropping by..
Lisa (lisita15)
http://beachmom15.blogspot.com/

Lucy said...

Your cupcakes are wonderful! The puffy cheeks are adorable :)