My Life, Captured

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Pancakes October 5, 2011

Filed under: Food — Melissa @ 5:25 pm

Thanks to Pinterest (my new favorite website) I’ve been discovering and trying lots of new recipes.  I saw this recipe for carrot cake pancakes recently and the picture alone made me salivate hungry.  The problem – I don’t keep pancake mix on hand.  So, I combined it with my favorite whole wheat pancake recipe and came up with this.  I hope you all enjoy it as much as we do. 

Whole Wheat Carrot Cake Pancakes                                                                                                                                                                             Serves 4


2 cups whole wheat flour

2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp sugar

1 tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp nutmeg

¼ tsp cloves

1 tsp salt

2 cups milk

2 Tbsp oil

2 eggs

1 tsp vanilla extract

1 cup carrots, finely shredded

¼ cup pecans, chopped

Pre-heat skillet to medium low (or electric skillet to 325 degrees).  Combine flour, baking powder, sugar, spices and salt in a large bowl. 

In a medium-sized bowl, mix together milk, oil, eggs and vanilla.  Add wet ingredients to dry ingredients and mix well.  Add carrots and pecans and mix until well combined.

Using a ¼ cup measuring cup, pour batter onto skillet.  Flip when bubbles appear on top.  Continue cooking until both sides are golden brown. 

Serve with vanilla-honey butter and real maple syrup.  Yum.


Book Review: In Front of God and Everybody June 7, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — Melissa @ 8:55 pm

In Front of God and Everybody: Confessions of April Grace, by KD McCrite is a story of April Grace, a spunky 11-year-old growing up in rural Arkansas. She gives voice to her adventures, as well as those around her – her grandma and her new boyfriend, her hippie neighbors, and the difficult new-comers. April Grace’s version of the events surrounding her are so funny – I found myself laughing out loud throughout the book.

Although this book doesn’t speak outright of God or the Bible, biblical themes are carried throughout. The characters learn lessons about kindness, attitude, charity and honesty. I was especially challenged and inspired by the power of generosity and kindness exhibited through the lives of April Grace’s parents.

Even though this book is categorized as being for 9-12 year olds, I found it surprisingly delightful and would have no problem recommending this book to my friends, young and old alike.

(Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a free review copy – no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.)


Scrumptiousness May 1, 2011

Filed under: Food — Melissa @ 3:29 am

Lime Coconut Cake

2 sticks of butter, softened

2 tsp. coconut extract

1½ Tbsp finely grated lime peel (I used the zest of 2 limes, plus about 1 tsp of lime juice)

1 1/3 cups sugar

4 eggs

2/3 cup milk

1 ½ cups unsweetened shredded coconut (I used sweetened)

2 ½ cups self-rising flour*

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Line two 12-hole standard muffin pans with paper baking cups.
  2. Beat butter, coconut extract, lime peel, sugar and eggs in large bowl with electric mixer until combined.
  3. Stir in milk and coconut, then sifted flour.  Divide mixture among baking cups; smooth surface.
  4. Bake cakes 22-25 minutes.  Turn cakes onto wire rack to cool. 
  5. Top with coconut cream cheese frosting.


Coconut Cream Cheese Frosting

5 Tbsp butter, softened

5 oz cream cheese, softened

2 tsp coconut extract

3 cups (1 lb.) powdered sugar

Beat butter, cream cheese and coconut extract in small bowl with electric mixer until light and fluffy, gradually beat in sifted powdered sugar.


*No Self-Rising Flour on hand?  No problem!  Make your own by combining 1 cup all-purpose flour, ½ tsp salt, and 1½ tsp baking powder.


Thanks to ACP Magazine Ltd. and Barnes and Noble Publishers for this fabulous recipe.


The Lightkeeper’s Ball – Book Review April 13, 2011

Filed under: Book Review — Melissa @ 7:32 pm

Set in the early 1900’s, The Lightkeeper’s Ball tells the story of Olivia Stewart, a young woman from a prominent New York family whose fortune is nearly gone.  Pressured to better her family’s circumstances by accepting an advantageous proposal of marriage, Olivia travels incognito to California hoping to learn more about Harrison Bennet, her possible future husband, and to investigate the questionable circumstances surrounding her sister’s death.

To be perfectly honest, I found this book difficult to rate.  It was quick and light reading, which is typically the kind of book I enjoy.  But that in and of itself does not a good book make. 

The mystery was probably the best part of this story, as it kept me guessing to the very end.  The romance thread, however, was eye-rollingly predictable.  From the first few chapters, it was obvious what and how things would unfold between the protagonists.  As for spiritual content, I found this book wanting.  The characters begin to explore the idea of God having a plan for their lives, but this idea is never fully explored, and it left me feeling the story was incomplete.

While this book may not win any literary prizes, it’s a fine choice for a day at the beach.  If you’re looking for an easy, clean, and light read, this one fits the bill.

(Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a free review copy – no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.)


Review – The Beginning Reader’s Bible March 10, 2011

Filed under: Book Review — Melissa @ 9:32 pm

I ordered this book after a long search for a resource to help me lead my 5-year-old daughter in Bible study.  I wanted something that would allow her to read actual Scripture, as well as help her apply it to her life.  Most of the other books or devotionals I had looked at were merely a collection of Bible stories retold in kids’ language.  I quickly discovered The Beginning Reader’s Bible, published by Thomas Nelson, is so much more than that!  First of all, the text is not just a retelling of our favorite stories – it is actual Bible text from the International Children’s Bible.  It also contains some of the most striking and beautiful illustrations I’ve ever seen in a children’s book of any kind.

Another thing that makes The Beginning Reader’s Bible unique is the wealth of extra content it contains.  Each story includes Scriptures to pray, verses to memorize, and activities to help children grow and apply God’s Word.  In addition, this Bible also contains resources such as a list of the Ten Commandments, the 23rd Psalm, the Lord’s Prayer, the names of the 12 apostles and the 12 tribes of Israel.  It also contains reading and memory verse charts so the reader can track his progress. 

I am so pleased with the content and quality of this Bible, I’ve been telling my friends about it.  It has turned out to be exactly what we were looking for!  As the publisher wrote, “the Bible isn’t just about reading God’s Word; it’s about living God’s Word.”

(Disclaimer: As a blogger I received a free review copy – no requirement to give it a positive review, just for the reviewer to call it like they see it.)


All Eyes on You January 24, 2011

Filed under: Musings — Melissa @ 2:08 pm

Recently I ran into a friend who asked me how our church’s search for land was going.  My mind flashed through the dozens of leads we’ve exhausted in our search for a permanent place to build our church.  I told her that we have no current leads, that we are waiting on the Lord.  We know that He has a plan for this church and that we just need to patiently wait on Him to show us that plan.  I was reminded, as I have been frequently lately, of a passage in 2 Chronicles 20.  Jehoshaphat, with all of Judah, was facing a huge enemy army and certain defeat.  Having nowhere to run, Jehoshaphat cries out to the LORD and in verse 12 says, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us.  We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon you.

There are many instances in my life – in parenting, in ministry, in marriage… – when I just don’t know what to do.  I’m not sure which way to go, what move to make next.  That’s when God patiently reminds me that I need only to set my eyes on Him.  Proverbs 3:5-6 tell me to “trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your paths straight.”  He will make my paths straight when I keep my eyes on, and place my full trust in Him.

The account in 2 Chronicles 20 goes on to tell us that God caused Judah’s enemy armies to fight against each other, completely destroying one another.  Judah didn’t have to lift a finger – the Lord fought their battle for them.  As I read that I am filled with hope because all through that account, God whispers His faithfulness.  When my eyes are on the Lord, and my trust is in Him alone, He fights my battles also – I’ve seen Him do it over and over again in my life.  He tells me, just as He did the Israelites when they were cornered by the Egyptian army against the Red Sea, “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.”  (Exodus 14:14) 

So today, Lord, help me be still, fixing my eyes squarely on You, trusting You to fight for me.


Grandma’s Butterfly January 15, 2011

Filed under: Photos — Melissa @ 2:15 pm


%d bloggers like this: