Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 Spectacular Sponsor Review

Sponsors, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com

I am so thankful to all of the wonderful people who have helped support this blog over the past year!!  Whether you are a Reader, "Hopper", Customer, Co-host or Sponsor -

The following "buttons" are all of my Fantastic Monthly Sponsors from 2013 - they are in the order in which I received them from January to December (no preferential treatment - you are all Spectacular!) (Please feel free to click on each button and visit these cool sites)

Shoreline Designed on EtsyMel’s Daisy PatchYa Gotta Have a Hobby
Winterpast MomentsSeed and GardenGarden DelightsTree Nursery Online
Feathers in the WoodsTrees for Sale OnlineForsythia For SaleTN Garden Center
Sleepy Single GirlTN Online NurseryShoreline Designed on ZibbetTN Tree Farm Nursery
2 Just B YouMary-andering Creatively

Thank you again & God bless in 2014!!

New Year, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsngrowinggarden.com


Click the button below to enter the Great Giveaways going on now!!:

God’s Growing Garden Giveaways


Monday, December 30, 2013

Olive, Onion & Almond Cheeseball

Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 008_zps0a785bd4.jpg

Olive, Onion & Almond Cheeseball

This is a perfect snack for New Years Eve or for the big game on New Years Day & it's so easy to make!!!

Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 002_zpsc2e3a514.jpg Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 003_zps83b8430d.jpg
Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 004_zps50e56123.jpg Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 005_zps5f7a8b55.jpg

2 packages of cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 cup cheddar cheese (shredded)
1 cup Colby-Jack cheese (shredded)
1/2 cup pimento-stuffed olives (chopped)
2 tablespoons shredded onions
1/2 to 1 1/2 teaspoons Indian Red Chili Pepper (ground) or substituted cayenne pepper (add according to your spicy likeness)
1 cup Almonds (thinly sliced)
Prepare the ingredients as listed above (shredding & chopping).  In a large mixing bowl and with an electric mixer (or in a food processor) - mix together the 3 cheeses (cream cheese, cheddar & Colby-jack cheese) until combined.  Now add the olives, onions & pepper and continue beating until it resembles the first picture in the collage above.  Spread the almonds on a plate and scrape the cheese mixture out of the mixing bowl (make sure you use a spatula to get every bit of the delicious cheesiness) onto the almonds (see top right picture above).  Gently roll the cheeseball around until it is completely covered in the almonds (see bottom left picture above).  Wrap in plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight.

Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 006_zps7bbf7c75.jpg

Serve with your favorite crackers & ENJOY!

Cheeseball by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 011_zps9b7ea14c.jpg

New Year, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsngrowinggarden.com

Linked to:
Mix It Up Monday

God’s Growing Garden

Click HERE to link up to the CLIMB (the month long Networking blog hop) & don't forget to enter the Giveaway!!

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Hope Filled Joy and Peace

 "We who are strong ought to bear with the failings of the weak and not to please ourselves.  Each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up.  For even Christ did not please himself but, as it is written:  'The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me.'  For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.  May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."  Romans 15:1-6

The time between Christmas Day and New Years Day is always spent pondering the past year and looking forward to a hopeful future.

What is the meaning of hope? - Hope: to have confidence; trust.  To wish for something with expectation of its fulfillment. To cherish a desire with anticipation (Merriam-Webster & Yahoo Dictionary Search).  Hope sounds like it is selfish "to wish for something" but in the verses above it clearly states that we are to put others needs before our own "each of us should please his neighbor for his good, to build him up."

Let's face it - we live in a selfish society and the desire to put other people's needs before our own is a constant struggle.  However, we receive encouragement and strength to endure the difficulties through the Bible; God's Living Word.
Have you ever noticed how catching a hopeful attitude is?  People gravitate towards someone who is positive, encouraging & optimistic - hope creates unity.  Hope brings people together - one will never be alone if they are hopeful.  On the opposite side - have you ever noticed how someone who has a hopeless attitude is avoided?  People dread being around someone who is negative, pessimistic & depressed.  A hopeless attitude builds barriers and creates loneliness. 
It is this "hopeful spirit" that will unify Christians together "so that with one heart and mouth we may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ."
I love the verse below!  When God fills us with His hope - we will be joyful & peaceful.  God's love will overflow from us through our actions and our words.
 "May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit."  Romans 15:13
Be hopeful in the New Year, putting the needs of others before your own therefore glorifying God!
New Year, by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsngrowinggarden.com

Saturday, December 28, 2013

JANUARY Chain "Linky" CLIMB and Giveaway!!

God’s Growing Garden
& welcome!!!
It's the month long Networking Blog Hop 
With our third CLIMB GIVEAWAY!
Here's how it works - the co-hosts from the previous month's CLIMB will have the opportunity to participate in a Giveaway during the next CLIMB (this is totally optional) - that gives co-hosts 2 months in a row of blog growing fun!! 
Please enter below -one person will win:
(you must have a PayPal account to enter & be 18 years or older) - 
- $30 PayPal Cash
- 1 Monthly Medium Ad Space on Cuddlebug Cuties
- 1 Month Ad Space on God's Growing Garden
- Pink & Pearl Necklace by Emily Lutkenhoff (see picture below)
Pretty pink and pearl necklace
CLIMB Giveaway Rules & Conditions: 
-  Due to shipping prices this Giveaway is for those living in the lower 48 of the USA
- You MUST have a PayPal account to enter
- This Giveaway is open from December 28th, 2013 until January 30th, 2014
- Winner must respond within 48 hours or a different winner will be chosen
- Giveaway Hosts & Co-hosts can NOT enter this Giveaway!, however - January CLIMB blog hop co-hosts MAY enter this Giveaway (provided they are not also part of the Giveaway)
- correspondence is done through email and the winner's email addresses will only be used to deliver or set-up e-prizes.  Email addresses will NEVER be sold or shared.
- if you have any questions or concerns about this Giveaway please email one of the hosts:
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Now onto the CLIMB (blog hop):

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By participating in this blog hop your email address will be added to our CLIMB list & you will be sent an email reminder next month. 

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ClimbLink_zpsf527c076.jpg

Remember - Now if you co-host you will receive a free Weekly Sidebar Ad and your blog button will appear on both Angie's blog & Angel's blog!!

(The Ad will run live a few weeks after you have co-hosted)

CLIMB by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo ClimbCo-host_zpseca2ac09.jpg


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Click the button below to enter the Great Giveaways going on now!!:

God’s Growing Garden Giveaways


Friday, December 27, 2013

Chocolate Christmas Tree Ornament - My Memory Portal

Memory Portal by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 038_zpsf755b5c7.jpg

Chocolate Christmas Tree Ornaments - My Memory Portal

It was a few weeks before Christmas and I was on a hunt to find "Hirschhorn Salz" (an ingredient that I needed to make Pfeffernuesse Cookies).  The only place in my area that has German items for sale is a little authentic German Meat Market called "Kilgus Meats."

As I entered the store I looked around and realized that it looked exactly the same as it did eight years earlier, which was the last time that I had been there.  In the middle of the store is a double-sided shelf with non-meat items.  As I walked around this shelf I passed  German rye bread, Zwieback Crisps and some noodles before I found the baking area.  There I found Vanilla Sugar, pudding mixes, yeast and as I was rummaging through these baking necessities I glanced to the left where the chocolate and cookies were located.  Flimmersterne!! - chocolate Christmas Tree ornaments that always hung on my Omi & Opi's  (or Oma & Opa - German for Grandma & Grandpa) Christmas Tree!!   I had not seen or thought of these decorations in literally decades!!  Tears suddenly began to well up in my eyes - I quickly shook them away and proceeded to take another turn around this middle shelf.  As I glimpsed these chocolates a second time my eyes again flooded with tears - "I must have these!" I said out loud.  I hurriedly purchased this Holiday Treat (even though they were $5!!  Five Dollars!!!) and rapidly left the store.     

 photo 010_zps412f19f4.jpg  Memory Portal by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 009_zpsdb078c36.jpg

A few days later I opened the bag from the Meat Market;  looked at these ornaments and I was immediately transported to my childhood.  There I sat on the Berber carpet in my Grandparent's living room watching TV.  My grandfather was a carpenter and he created this cubbyhole in the bedroom closet that butted up against the living room and he transformed it into a TV cabinet of sorts.  It was perfect for lounging on the floor and watching television because your neck wasn't strained from having to look up.  Did I mention that this TV was in color?!!  Just above the TV on the wooden shelves that he created was the tiny dinner bell.  That was my job - to announce that dinner was ready.  I would ring that bell and proclaim "Komm und essen"!! (which means "come and eat").

Christmas Eve dinner was always super special, actually any meal made by my grandmother was special because she was a master cook and baker (at least that's what I thought).  I remember always making sure not to eat too quickly because if you had a blank spot on your plate my grandmother would fill it with more food whether you asked or not!!  Don't get me wrong, as I said earlier we all loved her food but there is a limit to how much one can eat.  We learned to hover over our plates in hopes that we would create a protective dome.  However, somehow my grandmother always found a way to zoom in and drop another potato bomb on our plates - Nobody ever left her house hungry! 

While we were sitting around the dining room table eating I recall looking to the left at the Christmas Tree and staring at the Flimmersterne (shiny stars).  After dinner we all helped ourselves to a few sweet treats from the tree before eating Christmas cookies or "Coffee & Cake".  Maybe it was the motion of looking to the left and seeing these treats from my past that transported me to an earlier time.  Whatever the reason I am thankful for this opportunity to time travel with you.


Memory Portal by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 005_zps403701ec.jpg

Memory Portal by Angie Ouellette-Tower for godsgrowinggarden.com photo 003_zpsbb158a43.jpg

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Merry Christmas! - O Come, O Come, Emmanuel


"For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders.  And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace." Isaiah 9:6

Now turn with me to number 87 in your hymnals and let's sing:

O Come, O Come, Emmanuel
From Latin, 12th century                             Ancient plain song, 13th century
1.  O come, O come, Emmanuel, And ransom captive Israel, That mourns in lonely exile here Until the Son of God appear.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!
2.  O come, Thou Wisdom from on high, And order all things, far and nigh;  To us the path of knowledge show, And cause us in her ways to go.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!

1.  O come, Desire of nations, bind All peoples in one heart and mind;  Bid envy, strife, and quarrels cease;  Fill the whole world with heaven's peace.  Rejoice!  Rejoice!  Emmanuel Shall come to thee, O Israel!

A special thanks to "Paul Thompson" for posting this on YouTube

First of Advent 2013 - Angels We Have Heard on High
Second of Advent 2013 - Angels from the Realms of Glory
Third of Advent 2013 - Lo How a Rose E'er Blooming
Fourth of Advent 2013 - We Three Kings of Orent Are
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