25 May 2012

Chocolate Orange Torte

Have you ever had one of those chocolate oranges that you crack and eat in orange-slice-shape pieces? Image that flavor, only in a cake-brownie. Delicious! This is a wonderful gluten-free/grain-free/dairy-free dish to share with guests – they won’t even notice the difference.

And, as if it couldn’t get any better, it’s healthy…

Chocolate Orange Torte

Chocolate Orange Torte

1/2 cup blanched almond flour (we use Honeyville)
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon Celtic sea salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup honey
1/2 cup coconut oil, melted
1/2 cup dark chocolate chips (we use Enjoy Life‘s dairy-free chips)
5 drops orange essential oil (we use Young Living because it is pure and safe to ingest) or 1/2 teaspoon of orange extract

In a bowl, whisk together the wet ingredients. In another bowl, combine the dry ingredients except the chocolate chips. Add the wet mixture to the dry ingredients and stir until well combined. Fold in the chocolate chips.

Poor batter into a well-oiled 10-inch spring-form pan. Bake at 350°F for 25-30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Let cool.


This is our version of Elana’s Double Chocolate Orange Torte.

24 May 2012

This is Juliet. You might remember her from this post over a year ago.


She is a very good little friend of ours who is teaching us sign language (she’s still learning to speak in full sentences). Just last evening she was so happy that I learned the sign for “flower”, as she pointed at a flower and signed the word. She even congratulated me by giving me a hug and pat on the back when I correctly guessed what she was signing.

There’s nothing like her little girl squeals. Especially when it comes to asking her if she likes strawberries.

Juliet in the Breeze

In the photo above, the breeze through the open window blew a small tuft of hair up. She, Breezy, and I had just been looking out the window to see what we could find.

“Praise the Lord!
Praise God in His sanctuary;
Praise Him in His mighty heavens!
Praise Him for His mighty deeds;
Praise Him according to His excellent greatness!”
—Psalm 150:1-2

22 May 2012

I had just dropped off to sleep when I felt the ship bump as if scraping the side of a tree.

I sat up straight in bed, trying to make out what had happened. It seemed completely silent for a minute or two. The engines were cut off. The corridors were quiet until one began to hear doors open and voices speaking. The first voice I heard was a woman asking the steward what had happened. He replied calmly, “Everything will be all right.”

Sinking of the Titanic

Those were the words of Miss Helen R. Østby, survivor, recalling the night when the Titanic had struck an iceberg which would lead to the ship’s sinking and the death of 1,500+ passengers and crew.

I can only imagine what it would have been like – just over one hundred years ago – to be on the grand, arrogantly acclaimed “unsinkable” Titanic.

The anticipation leading up to her maiden voyage, the excitement of all those boarding such an extravagant vessel, the luxury and grandeur of her various decks and the first class dining hall.

With this being the 100th year anniversary of Titanic’s sinking, we have been studying her passengers, the events surrounding her maiden and fatal voyage, and those who survived. The event becomes more and more real with each new fact learned and each new story read.

I am left speechless by the heroism of the men who gave their lives so that women and children could live. Not a single act of chivalry, heroism, or sacrifice was performed by accident. With great intention the men placed the women and children on lifeboats as the Titanic took on water.

The sinking was tragic because of the many lives lost at sea. But with gratefulness we can look back and give thanks for those who were spared and lived to tell the stories of manhood, womanhood, humility, servanthood, and especially sacrifice.

“For I know that the Lord is great,
and that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
in heaven and on earth,
in the seas and all deeps.
He it is who makes the clouds rise at the end of the earth,
Who makes lightnings for the rain
and brings forth the wind from His storehouses.”

—Psalm 135:5-7

1 May 2012


Evening Sun on the Raindrops

Spring Rain

Last evening’s downpour left the plants refreshed and ready for a new day. The skies were golden as the sun set, giving the face of the earth a warm glow.

“This is the day that the LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be glad in it.”
—Psalm 118:24

27 April 2012

Joy is more than a smile, it is an attitude of the heart which permeates your entire being. It affects all of life, how you handle situations, and how you reach out to others. As Mum said, “[joy] is internal and eternal.” And there’s only one place to find and have true joy – it is found in the Lord.

“You make known to me the path of life;
in Your presence there is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.”
—Psalm 16:11

Click here to read Mum’s post about cultivating and filling our days with joy.

This month’s free pattern from Clementine Patterns features several delightful graphics for Joydownload the PDF pattern for free and embroider your own version of “Joy”! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern is available for free download for two weeks – now through May 12th.) UPDATE: Now available here!

“Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds,
for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.”
—James 1:2-3

Don’t miss out on next month’s free embroidery pattern…
you can subscribe here to be notified when it’s released!

P.S. Missed last month’s “love” pattern? No worries – it is now available as a PDF download in our Etsy shop!

12 April 2012

Every spring I look forward to snipping lilac bunches from our bush for an overflowing bouquet of purple lovelies. It’s amazing to see how much beauty God puts into a single lilac with its breathtaking aroma.

April Lilacs

Lilacs on the lawn with a teacup and a good book.

Vintage Quilts and Lilacs

The grass withers, the flower fades,
but the word of our God will stand forever.
—Isaiah 40:8

P.S. Six Angles is back!

29 March 2012

"Love" by Clementine Patterns

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness,
faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.”

—Galatians 5:22-23

This is the first in our series of embroidery patterns based on the fruit of the Spirit.

Every month – over the next nine – we’ll be offering a free pattern based on a fruit of the Spirit! They will accompany my dear mum’s posts at Raising Homemakers.

This month’s post is on love.

Brought to you by Clementine Patterns, each embroidery is a beautiful reminder to diligently cultivate the fruit of the Spirit. (They also make for perfect mother-daughter projects!)

"Love" by Clementine Patterns

This month’s pattern features several graphics for Love - download the PDF pattern for free and embroider your own version of “Love”! (For personal use only. This PDF pattern is available for free download for two weeks – now through April 12th.) UPDATE: Now available here!

Make sure you don’t miss out on next month’s free embroidery pattern by subscribing here!

26 March 2012

Eggshells for Planters

Have you ever planted seeds in eggshells? This spring we’re trying a new-to-us way of starting seeds inside. We’ve tried other ways in the past, all to no avail – this time we’re hoping the story will end with a “happily ever after” (plants growing strong, maturing, and bearing fruit in season).

The process of planting was most enjoyable. (Excepting, of course, for the centipede squirming around in the bucket of dirt.) A few easy-to-come-by “ingredients” were needed:

  • Eggshells & Egg-trays
  • Bucket of dirt
  • Seeds
  • Water

We filled the shells in the kitchen – and even our dog Bently seemed to enjoy the process by sneaking a few bites of dirt. (Perhaps he’s low on some minerals?)

Following is a pictorial version of the seed-planting process…

Eggshell Labels

Filling with Dirt




Eggshell Planting

A hole was poked into the bottom of each one so that any excess water could drain. When it comes time to transplant them to the garden, we will simply crunch the shell so that the roots can exit and plant the whole thing.

It’s fascinating to think that something as small as a seed will grow into many meals come summertime. God works wonders!

Have you started planting your garden? Do you start your seeds inside or outside?

7 March 2012


A few weeks ago we had the pleasure of visiting friends for a time of delightful fellowship. While we were there, we met their farm’s latest additions: lambs.

The mothers ate while the babies watched us in their own cautiously inquisitive way.

Momma Sheep Eating

Eating Mommas


Grazing Lambs


I became fast friends with this wee one. He was most charming
and enjoyed a good, long rub on the noggin.

Creamy Lamb

Petting a Lamb

Mrs. Mendenhall petting my new friend.

Mama Sheep

Lambs Watching

Spring is here with new life – beautiful new life!

P.S. Did I mention that the owner of these darling lambs has an Etsy shop & blog? I think you will like them.