Thursday, January 30, 2014

Foba's Apple Dapple Cake

Don't ask me why I've been busting a gut to make an apple cake, but I have. The first time was a disaster (we aren't going to talk about it...) but yesterday, during our "snow day," I found success!

Finding an apple cake recipe really isn't as easy as I thought, but the one I used is from "Tapestry," a cookbook printed by the Junior Welfare League of Rock Hill, South Carolina.  A girl I worked with gave each of us this book, which I've only used for the Vulture Dip recipe until now. YUM.

I give to you Foba's Apple Dapple Cake.  I gotta tell you, it's pretty tasty.  Here is the recipe for you to try (is it wrong to publish a recipe online? If so, I'm terribly sorry...)



1.5 cups vegetable oil
3 eggs
2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 cups flour, sifted
1 teaspoon salt
1.5 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1 cup pecans, chopped
3 cups chopped apples
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 cup milk
1/2 cup (1 stick) margarine

Beat the oil, eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until well blended.  Beach in the vanilla.  Add the flour, salt, baking soda, cinnamon and nutmeg and mix well.  Fold in the pecans and apples.  Spoon into a greased tube pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour.  Combine the brown sugar, milk and margarine in a saucepan.  Cook over low heat until the mixture is smooth, stirring frequently.  Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently.  Pour the hot glaze over the hot cake.  Let stand for 2 hours.  Remove from the pan.


I didn't do the pecans because I didn't have them.  Otherwise, I followed it just as it was written and it was mighty yummy in my tummy.  This glaze stuff that you pour over it - holy moly. Yum yum yum.  I had a slice for breakfast this morning - umm umm good.

I must say, if you had any way of getting your hands on this cookbook, I would recommend it, however, I think it's pretty much sold out.  You need it for the vulture dip recipe alone - THAT is some GOOD STUFF.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Photo Challenge Wednesday 4

It's time again for the Photo Challenge!!! :)

The Little Mountaineer grabbing for the phone
Wednesday, Jan 22 - Katie had a doctor's appointment so I only worked half a day and went SHOPPING that afternoon! YAY! Really enjoyed my sister time - I've missed it. I bought the basics to begin "Project Life" - can't wait to dig in.

The view as we went through the bank drive thru. 

Ellie Bellie! What a wild child. :) 
Thursday, Jan. 23 - Sister Beth cooked one heck of a yummy dindin of steak, corn and taters. Ellie Bellie has more energy than anyone I've ever seen - even for a 5-year-old. :)

My drive into work. Sometimes it's so beautiful.

One grouchy Sweet Niece
Friday, Jan. 25 - Fridays are the days Sweet Niece #2 goes to the babysitters. So, that put mom in my neck of the woods for lunch! :) Saw two couples from church, too, which was nice.

Saturday, Jan 26 - Shopping with mom! She found a couch on Craigslist and we met the nicest people! Meet mom's new colors for the family room. Love it!  AND my cousin Josh made it home from Afghanistan. SO THANKFUL.

Sunday, Jan. 27 - Dad, two neighbors and I went back on the hour drive to pick up mom's new couch.  Well, new-to-her.  These people are so nice, I wish they lived closer.  And our neighbors for helping out - so thankful for them! I realized just before bed I hadn't taken any pics - so you get my feet. :)

Driving home! 
Monday, Jan 28 - Welll... I tried to bake but ended up calling poison control. Don't ask. But everything is ok and I'm going to try again tonight.  Talked to one of my FAV cousins and holy cow, I howled with laughter.  Man I miss hanging out with him.

Peek - a - boo. My Furry Niece

Tuesday, Jan 29 - SNOW> aaaahhhh... I'm actually typing this before I RUN out the door and go home. The South, we ain't prepared for crappy snow! So... bye ya'll!! Hope you enjoyed it! :) 

Friday, January 24, 2014

Releasing Secrets, Restoring Hope.

This morning, reading my Girlfriends in God devotional in bed, I felt so moved to share this message.  I've been burdened since Sunday when my preacher mentioned 55 million babies have been surgically aborted in the US - this doesn't account for the "morning after" pill or illegal abortions. 55 million babies. Each one of these children were created by God, lovingly knitted together by Him with Divine purpose - and each one now gone.

I definitely am not trying to point fingers, but to pray for these women in these situations, that they get the help they need to handle what has already been done and not go down that path again. Furthermore, we ALL have some secret that we want to push deep down inside of us so that it never sees the light of day, but maybe it's time to release the fear and have faith in God's forgiveness.

Please read this devotion and if you feel compelled, pass it on:

January 24, 2014
Releasing Secrets, Restoring Hope
Gwen Smith
Today’s Truth
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.(Psalm 34:5, NIV)
Friend to Friend
For years my abortion story went untold. It was a secret held tightly by a locked heart - my worst nightmare and darkest memory. Not something I wanted to talk about. Certainly not a story that I thought could be used for good.
Conversationally, it was unapproachable… simply impossible to discuss. On the rare occasion when I allowed my mind to go there, I wished I had a different story: one of life, not death – of joy, not pain. A story of a time when I’d made the best choice, not the worst choice.
But that’s not my story.
And because it’s not, for years I was convinced that my mistakes demanded silence. That because of what I’d done and where I’d been, I was bound to be quiet whenever the sacred topic of life arose. Certainly, I had no right to speak… or so I believed. Shame buttoned my lips.
Then I came to know a deeper grace. A grace found in the testimony of redemption. God’s grace. A grace that testifies of hope, healing and restoration. A grace found in the sharing and releasing of my broken heart-places. Amazing grace that boasts in the truth that all things can work together for good to those who love God and who are bound to His will and purpose (Romans 8:28).
By the grace of Jesus Christ, I now understand that – knowing what I know and having been where I’ve been – I am actually uniquely qualified to speak and encourage others toward life… forgiveness… and hope.
A few years ago, the Lord led me to participate in a post-abortive Bible study and a weekend retreat that allowed my heart to experience healing in places that I didn’t even know were wounded. I was given the opportunity to sift through my grief, to name my child, and to honor her tragic, unlived life in a beautiful memorial service. My story is now one of healing – and I will tell it until I take my last breath and meet my precious baby in heaven.
For those of you who share my broken story, I encourage you toward this sacred healing – toward deeper grace. Death’s grip is suffocating and scary… but it’s not more powerful than the forgiveness and love found in Jesus. Don’t allow fear and shame to keep you from the restoration that God longs for you to experience. Call your local pregnancy care center and ask about their post-abortive Bible studies and retreats.
For those of you who are pregnant and afraid, I encourage you to choose life. I know the fears you are facing and the doubts that are screaming relentlessly to your heart. Silence them with the hope found in the center of grace. Whatever this looks like for you – whether it’s parenting or adoption – I implore you, from the deepest recesses of my heart, to allow your baby a chance to breathe, love, laugh and live. It will be one of the best choices you will ever make.
For those of you who don’t share my story, but who support the efforts of life-affirming ministries on the front lines of this battle, I encourage you toward generous giving. I applaud you for your participation. Because of you, lives are being saved… and diapers are being changed… and dreams are being dreamed… and God is being honored. Because of your support, sacred hearts are beating. Thank you. A thousand times: thank you.
But where sin increased, grace increased all the more,so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. (Romans 5:20b-21)
Let’s Pray
Dear God, with a trembling heart, I approach Your throne of grace today in reverence and humility, fully aware that You are holy and I am not. Speak, Lord. Show me the plans You have for me. Bind me to Your Word and to Your strength so I will have the courage to obey, to forgive and to accept forgiveness. May my brokenness be restored for the beauty of Your glory. Please help me to trust your plan and grace. In Jesus’s name I pray, amen.
Now It’s Your Turn
Okay … take a deep breath with me! Some of you may feel disturbed that a locked door in your heart has been nudged open. I also know that 30-40% of you that are reading this devotion share my experience of abortion. There is healing and forgiveness for you, too. Through the help of my local Pregnancy Care Center, I went through a post-abortive Bible study that helped me to know complete healing. If you have not taken that step toward healing, I encourage you to contact the Abortion Recovery CARE line at 1-866-4-My-Recovery (1-866-469-7326) visit - or call your local Pregnancy Care Center today to sign up for a post-abortive Bible study or retreat.
Is there someone you know who needs to read this message? Forward this email. Post it on your social media sites. Share the hope of healing.
More from the Girlfriends
Welcome to my personal pulse. This type of transparency is always risky. My pulse races each time I expose the broken places of my past and my present – but GOD is always faithful to use it in some beautiful way. Some of you may feel this devotion was written specifically for you. Don’t ignore that. Explore it. Click here to listen to a song that I co-wrote and recorded called Broken into Beautiful, and leave a comment sharing your heart with me. We will pray over each of you!
My full testimony is featured the book, Broken into Beautiful, along with Scriptural truths and stories of how God has brought restoration the hearts of many other women who had painful life wounds. God delights to transform lives … including your own. Experience God’s healing and hope in your life today as you read Broken Into Beautiful! To order the book, go to Amazon or for a signed copy, click here.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Photo Challenge Wednesday 3

Heavens to Betsy this is hard to keep up with. But I have been successful once more! Woop!

The job on Wednesday. Any clue what these are?? Anyone... Anyone...  
Wednesday, Jan. 15: ENCOURAGEMENT. I'm trying to keep a log of those little things I'm thankful for on a daily basis.  On Wednesday, I received a letter from my penpal that she was praying for me and understands some of my struggles.  Sometimes that's all you need to keep you going.

I remembered I didn't take a photo JUST before midnight on my way home. Whew. 
Thursday, Jan. 16:  FRIENDSHIP! Dinner with Sara, which resulted in getting home about 12:30 a.m. These deer in the business park just hung out with us for a while. Such graceful animals. It had been much too long since I'd seen Sara - must get together again SOON.

Yes, I know my bed looks like a hot mess. But I love the new duvet cover!
Friday, Jan. 17:  FAMILY. I did show up for work, but once Mom dropped in for a surprise visit and I decided to skip out on work and shop with her for the afternoon! Great decision (and thankful I have a job where I can do that). We had such a good time together. And I found a pretty duvet cover for $20! Love it!


Paulene painting McGill, the snail. 
Saturday, Jan. 18:  MORE FRIENDS! :) My head was in the clouds and I showed up 1.5 hours late for a visit with my friend, Paulene! Ack! Thankfully, she was very patient with my flightiness. What a great visit! Toured her home, OD'd on orange & purple, Lizard Thicket for lunch (yum yum - grilled pound cake - holy cow it was good) and painted pottery! Really thankful for her friendship.

Little Red Riding Hood on the way to church. 
This is the screen I saw through at least HALF of Downton Abbey. Seriously?!?! 

Sunday, Jan. 19:  GOD. I was feeling a little rough and missed Sunday School, but made it for preaching. Glad I did because it was a really good sermon.  Visited with my aunt that afternoon, which was a joy. Napped in a hot bath before DOWNTON ABBEY! EEIIKKK. A.D.O.R.E. that show. :) But let's not discuss the TV going out every 30 seconds, causing me to lose my mind.

As part of cleaning up her house, Mom gave me a stack of papers from a baby shower for me! The game was to take Mom's name and list and boy and girl name for each letter. Some of the names cracked me up! 
These are the felt hearts I kept for myself. :)
Monday, Jan. 20:  REST. Took some time for myself and family.  Played with Macy and just enjoyed spending time with her and my sister. Cleaned up the house, made lots of felt hearts and watched more DOWNTON ABBEY on dvd. I needed Monday to rest.

Some evenings are so beautiful here. 

Tuesday, Jan. 21:  SHARING.  I mailed hearts out to all kinds of friends and delivered a few sets in person. I love sharing something so simple, but something I so enjoyed making.  Want a set? Just send me your address at b_covington (at)

Thanks everyone, for taking this random journey with me each week.  It really is helping me see little things to be thankful for and appreciating those small moments of happiness and joy.  :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Photo Challenge Wednesday : 2

I'm proud of myself - another week of photos completed!  I will admit to struggling on a few days and thinking - holy crap, I better get a picture taken pronto! And so some of these are just not stellar. Oh well, enjoy my week anyway.


Wednesday, January 8:  Had training all day, but it was actually fun and interesting! Made several new acquaintances and followed up with them (saying how nice it was to meet them) the next day. Good stuff! This is how my afternoon ended - watching Mom and Macy play in the Princess Tent!

Thursday. January 9: Poor Macy, watching her mama leave for work.  She's been fighting a bit of a cold.  Anyway, Thursday was a dramafest. Exhausted but it brought me back to focusing on God and His power and love. 

Friday, January 10: How sweet is it to start my day with this little girl? I love seeing her just before work. She's named her baby, "Rosie" after the little sister in Calliou.  So thankful for Sherry, for listening and praying with me for FOUR HOURS! God blessed me with some amazing friends!

Saturday, January 11: Always good to have Sweet Niece #1 (AH) back at home. We took to her Krispy Kreme where she had her first "hot" donut.  "How is it that I've never had a hot donut before!" she asked! Haha! I found some great Psalms to soothe an aching soul.  Good stuff. Also had some great family time that night.  Hot Bath and BED.

Sunday, January 12:  I played hooky from church and made it a "me" day. I needed it after the latter part of the week and weekend. I washed clothes, picked up a bit, made Christmas chocolate chip cookies (still taste delicious even with red and green chips) - these went into the freezer for the Super Bowl.  Made strawberry and blackberry cobbler. Got crafty.  Just let my home become my sanctuary and recover from a drama filled week. I did catch most of Charles Stanley on TV - I really like his preaching. He pretty much tells it like it is. Sunday night - DOWNTON! *sniff* ANNA! How could they let this happen to Anna. I was so sad before going to bed that night. Sad.

Monday, January 13: The moon greeted me as I left work on Monday. I don't know why, but I love it when I can see the moon in daylight.  It's like a special little surprise. Monday, I visited with my sweet niece for just a few minutes and went HOME. Love my home... *sigh* So thankful the drama is calming down and all these devotionals are making my heart lighter.

Tuesday, January 14:  I know, I'm a DORK, but I found this thing online where it summarizes your tweets from the year end.  It was cute!  You can see the whole thing here.  My top three words tweeted about:  Home, Family and House (I highlighted the next word down - letters - so there wasn't home and house twice!).  Sewed like a mad woman on felt valentines.  You can win a set similar those these at my Pressed Clovers Facebook page.  Just find the status like this and post your color choice. 

And that's a wrap, folks! :)

Friday, January 10, 2014

Friday's Letters


You know when you've had one of those weeks that just the fact that it's Friday gives you hope? But... it's not like Saturday is going to be different than Friday so why does this give me comfort?

Anyway, my letters:

Dear God, Thank you.  Thank you for listening, responding, loving.  I said, "All that is left is faith," and the other person said, "That is sad."  Actually, all that was ever there was You anyway, so why is that sad? It's a revelation to understand none of us can have it all under control without You. If we all would have accepted this all along, maybe things would be different.

Dear Macy, you bring such joy.  You are so loving, learning so very much, it's just a total joy to have you in my life. Watching you pretend you are a mommy with your babies, you rock them to sleep, tuck them in, feed them, read to them - you melt my heart!

Dear Sherry, Oh my gracious, thank you.  Thank you for listening, understanding and I know you are praying and I'm SO THANKFUL FOR YOU.

Dear Macke, Hang in there, it will get better. I pray for you, oh how I pray for you.  I write these huge letters to God for you and your family because 1) I love you.  2) I know God loves you.  3) He listens to these prayers - mine, yours, everyone elses and He has you protected in His hand. Know it. Sometimes, you just have to BE STILL and KNOW He is there beside you.

Dear Downton, please don't let me down this Sunday.  I was so unimpressed with last weeks, even after making hot cocoa to drink as I watched.  I'm so hoping this week has more of a bright spot to it. :)

Thanks Ya'll.  Sunday is the reset button on this week, and I'm looking forward to it! :)

PS - I'm pretty sure I'm buying that print above.  I just love it! Love me some Etsy!  Click on the source to be taken to the print online. 

Addition!  Oh gracious, Renee at Southern Gal Thoughts linked to this wonderful blog post and I'm adding it here so I can go back and take lots of time to read it, click on all the links and write about it.  Looks marvelous and I'm so glad Renee included it in her post so it came to me! Whee!

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Photo Challenge Wednesday

I decided I wanted to try my hand at taking a photo a day this year.  Instead of boring you with a blog post of a random photo each day, I thought I'd just post them here on Wednesdays, and include with the pics some of the blessings of my week. Why Wednesday? Because our new year began on Wednesday. :)  So let's review my week, how about it?

Lady Mary - quite the character!

Wed., January 1 - Happy New Year! I kicked back on the couch and continued my Downton Abbey marathon with seasons 1, 2, and 3.  It was quiet, peaceful, the Christmas tree illuminated the room with a soft glow - good stuff. Great New Year intro.

That day we got together as a totally complete family to celebrate Mom's birthday. I really enjoyed the bruch together - a little less crazy than Christmas.  Love my family.

Look at the cute Mountaineer! 

Thurs., January 2 - Pop and Macy.  I announced on Twitter my One Word for the year - Appreciation. As in, appreciate all things in life, even the difficult moments.  Embrace life instead of complaining about life, you get the drift.  I shared it on this blog here.

My friends headed to Miami for the Orange Bowl and to pull for Clemson! :) So glad the tigers pulled it out and WON THE GAME! (Of course, the game wasn't on this day, but whatever.)

Someone became very attached to her mommy over Christmas break

Holy cow, Sunshine! 
Fri., January 3 - Happy Birthday to my Mom! That morning Miss Macy wasn't feeling well - her teeth are driving her bonkers.  The sun on the drive in - wowzers.  That night, we celebrated with cake and gifts for Mom.  She's an amazing lady, I'm SO VERY BLESSED to have the parents that I do! We went out to a local restaurant, ran into family aquaintances, enjoyed each other's company - just a great time.

Handmade by Family = <3

Sat., January 4 - Clean up from Christmas.  I finally got my living room back in order!  Ok, so the tree is still up and naked, but the ornaments and such are packed away.  The pictured quilt top is from one of my grandmothers.  I thought it would be a great addition to my living room - love it! I love handmade family things.

I didn't get out of my jammies at all on Saturday, but did have time to continue the Downton marathon - finishing all three seasons (just in time for Sunday!).

Two peas in a pod

Sun. January 5 - DOWNTON IS BACK! But first - nursery duty at church with the cutest, sweetest children. We would sing songs to them and they would go crazy clapping for us at the end of each one.  Katie said - this is what it feels like to be a rock star! :)  After lunch, I visited with mom's family member, aunts and uncles and cousins.  What a great time to hear their stories and enjoy great laughs.  Good times.

Then, it was DOWNTON TIME.  I brewed up hot chocolate (I'm trying to learn to like hot tea) and settled in for the 2-hour season premier. I must admit - I just wasn't blown away or impressed! I was very sad about it all... hope this week is so much better.


Mon., January 6 - The clouds started rolling in on my way to work.  We were bracing for some crazy cold weather ahead.  I left work early to get home and get the house braced for temperatures we just aren't used to seeing down here in the South.  (I'm so grateful I have a job that will let me leave on a moments notice for something goofy like this.)

Macy was too funny at Mom's house that night.  She would run into the tent and say, "Where is Macy?!" Then pop out and say, "Peek a boo!"  HAHA.  She's got such an imagination.

HOLY COW did the weather hit us!!! I was so worried about the pipes freezing or the heating unit exploding - but we came through just fine.  I thank God for the fact all of us on the hill had water this morning, heat all night, got to work safe... Thank you, Lord! :)

No clue what the wind chill made it - but I'm SOUTHERN. I hate cold!

Tues. January 7 - Well, Monday's bled into Tuesdays (like I said, we all had heat and power and water in the morning, the cars cranked, yay!) The frost on my car windows was so pretty but I couldn't get a really good picture of it.

I'll do better at taking notes on all the good things that happen each day. I have so much to be thankful for - warm shelter being a biggie in this cold.  I read a devotional this week about the power of prayer and it made me sit up and immediately pray for those who are struggling, hurting, sick, in need of comfort and love - so say a prayer for your friends and family, please.

:)  Well, I did the first week! Let's keep it going!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Friday's Letters

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, MOM! YOU ARE THE BEST!  All seriousness, I'm so thankful for my Mom - she really is a wonderful, amazing, lovely woman. A blessing!! 

The moment I'd been waiting for - Mary and Matthew to get together at last!!! *sigh*
Rewatching Season Three starting tonight, to prepare for Season Four! EEIIKK!
Dear New Year, I'm excited for you! I'm happy I spend it quietly in my living room watching a Downton Abbey marthon before the season kicks off on Sunday! Woop woop! Dear One Word, I'm looking forward to applying APPRECIATION to my weeks, hopefully every day. I'm starting a jar to drop my written blessings into all year so I can see how wonderful my year was at the end. :) Dear Blogger World, I'm not sure where it's going or how much longer I'll keep it up, but I'm here today.
Sister Beth, Ellie and Donna (my BFF) at the Orange Bowl, ready for tonight's game! 
Dear Clemson Players & Fans, Good Luck with the Orange Bowl!  I'm pulling for you! Dear Dave & Busters, seriously, you are going to be rude to Clemson fans, who are in your establishment with their hard earned money?! NOT a smart marketing move. Let the Ohio fans pay your bills from now on. 

Sweet Niece #2, I hope you feel better soon.  I'm not a happy auntie when you are under the weather. :(

Those are my letters for this week. :) I'm also trying to do the 365 photo thing, do you have to follow the prompts, or are their prompts? Whatever - if I get a pic in a day I'll be doing good. So maybe I'll share those on here once a week, too. Ya'll have a great weekend. :)

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