Sunday, August 30, 2009


Psalm 34:8
Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

Sunday, August 23, 2009


Zephaniah 3:17

The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.

Frosted Fudge Brownies

I love brownies! They are the quintessential dessert. These fudge delights are decadent and delicious!
Frosted Fudge Brownies

Place foil in the bottom of a 9 x 13" pan - let the foil overlap the sides of the pan - butter foil well. Pour batter into pan and bake @ 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until a pick has a few fudge pieces clinging. After brownies cool - frost, slice and enjoy!

Brownie Batter
4 Squares Unsweetened Chocolate
3/4 c Butter
(melt in microwave for 2 minutes until smooth and creamy)
Stir in:
2 cups Sugar
3 Eggs
1 t Vanilla
1 cup Flour

Mix until well blended.

Chocolate Frosting
1 cup Butter (melted)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
3 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup milk
1 t vanilla

Mix together melted butter and cocoa powder. Add sugar and milk alternately while using a hand mixer. Add vanilla and stir in well.

Baby Cheesecakes

Baby Cheesecakes on display.
Baby Cheesecake Party

If you love bite-sized desserts and if you love cheesecake ~ then you will absolutely love my recipe for Baby Cheesecakes! They make a stunning presentation for any celebration as well as any causal event. They are perfect for a little pick-me-up during the day, tucked into a lunch bag or the ending of a family meal! Enjoy!

Baby Cheesecakes

8 oz. Cream Cheese (2 packages ~ softened)
3/4 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
1 T Lemon Juice
1 T Vanilla
24 Vanilla Wafers

Place 24 cupcake liners in muffin tins. Place one vanilla wafer in the bottom of each liner.Mix the batter ingredients until well blended. Pour batter into liners until 3/4 full. Bake @ 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

Top chilled cheesecakes with strawberry, blueberry or cherry pie filling. You may also top with fresh berries, chocolate or whipped cream.

Sunday, August 16, 2009


Psalm 127:3-5
children are a hertiage from the Lord,
the fruit of the womb a reward.

As arrows are in the hand of a warrior,
so are the children of one's youth.

Happy, blessed and fortunate is the man
whose quiver is filled with them!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Kitchenettes ~ A Grateful Heart

I Thessalonians 5:18
Give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus.
The topic for the Kitchenettes last night was "thankfulness" and "expressing a grateful heart".

The girls learned how to respond properly when someone gives you a gift, shows you kindness or does something special for you. It is important to know how to serve others and to make people feel loved and cared about ~ there are a variety of ways through hospitality to demonstrate this quality. It is just as important to be able to receive that very same thing from someone else! It honors God to have an attitude of gratitude in ALL things.
Ephesians 5:20
Always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus.
We had a wonderful time creating gifts for someone in our life who we wanted thank. The Kitchenettes each picked someone special and designed their own homemade cards along with making chocolate heart lollipops! They were beautiful - not only because because of what we could see with our eyes - but the love that each girl poured into those little masterpieces was evident.
II Corinthians 9:15
Thanks be to God for His indescribable gift!
Today as you go about your day think about the ultimate gift that was given from a loving and devoted God. Tell the Lord how thankful you are for all things in all situations all of the time. I plan on spending my time today with a grateful heart!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Party Pictures

O is for Octopus Birthday Party

The best birthday party for one special little baby girl!
Gabriella Grace Young is ONE!!!!!
It was a celebration to beat all celebrations. Squidgy was honored with all of her favorite boys, her beloved aunts and uncles, cousins and many friends as close as family! I could not have dreamed of a better night and her beaming smile lit up the room (along with the blinking tiara and sparkle wand from Aunt Bonnie). Everyone wore the octopus hats and enjoyed a feast of: homemade deli sandwiches, pasta salad, lemon poppy seed salad, con queso dip, hot artichoke dip, punch and of course an octopus cake!!!
I would like to share with all of you that GiGi was a perfect little lady and ate her cake without making a mess....well - she smashed it on her own face and could not shove it in her mouth fast enough! I guess she loved it!

Miralce of Life Testimony

Why, O Why, Do We Love Octopi?
We have been asked many times why a little octopus would be so significant in our family and why in the world do we seem obsessed with them?! Our baby girl - affectionately known as Squidgy, collects these adorable animals. Ok...ok....techically we collect them for her at this point - but, if you read our testimony all will be revealed!
It all started in 2007. We had spent 2 years in Vermont working in the ministry and heard the direction of the Lord for our family to move back home to Florida. This was very difficult time in our life - we loved Vermont and ministering to young people - but God really does see the end from the beginning and our next step was crucial for our future. We prepared to return to Florida out of pure obedience to what we believed we were hearing from the Lord. God spoke very clearly to my husband about this move ~ He told him that it was a time of:
- everything would be new and it would be a season of
rest, refreshing, restoration and healing.

Our confirming Scripture verses:
Isaiah 43:18-19
Do not remember the former things,
nor consider the things of old.
Behold, I will do A NEW THING,
now it shall spring forth;
shall you not know it?
I will even make a road in the
wilderness and rivers in the desert.
Isaiah 30:15
Thus says the Lord God,
"In returning and rest you shall be saved;
in quietness and confidence shall be your strength."

During this time the Lord also gave me a revelation about the meaning of our names:
Thomas & Concetta Young
Thomas ~ Double Portion
Concetta ~ Miracle (The Immaculate Conception)
Young ~ New Beginning, Fresh
Thomas & Concetta Young
...a fresh, new beginning of double portion miracles.
So now, we return back home to Florida where God led us to be....He reached right down in the middle of our marriage and did something miraculous - He caused us to have a deeper level of love - a place never imagined even existed and could probably never articulate in the true measure of what God did for our family! After so many years of marriage (17 at that time) we were back on our honeymoon again! Only God can really make a new beginning - can bring healing in such an intense capacity - can completely transform and go above and beyond all that we can ask or think.
Out of this new beginning a life was created - a life that would never have been if we did not cry out to God for guidance - and obey even in the face of extreme heartache and confusion of lost dreams and vision. This little person would never have been - that brings me to my knees when I think about it - this baby is a miracle!
The night I found out I was pregnant was a Sunday. It was only 6 weeks after returning home and we were struggling with our emotions of all that had taken place in such a short amount of time. Inside of our hearts we felt like we had disappointed God and had not completed what He wanted us to accomplish. My husband and I were sharing this with one of our beloved pastors - pouring out our hearts that we felt like our time had passed and we failed. It was a divine appointment for healing! I spoke about finding a passage in my of my journals written back in 2003 - it was a word that the Children's Pastor had given us. The word was:
TJ and Connie - Jesus left His disciples and said greater things will you do... TJ & Connie - you will do greater things - so much greater. Greater than you ever planned - but you are holding on to the past. No more from this minute forward - everything from the past is gone - it can't touch you. Your future is not dependent on your past - it is dependent on your vision - let go of the past.
So, her I am sharing this and telling her that we had our time to do something great and now it is over. At that moment she said - "We always think when God gives us a word that it is for that immediate moment." Not so. The timing of that word all those years ago is for this specific moment - for NOW - God was preparing us for what He wanted to do in us here and now!!! Our healing, rest, restoration and new beginning.
We fling our arms around each other - all 3 of us - we prayed and thanked God for NEW BEGINNINGS. It is never too late. The enemy is a liar!
When I got home that night I was searching through my journals to find that word again - but I found something else written on top of one of the pages. It was just a random sentence that had nothing to do with my journal entry. I could not correlate why I had written this, but it must have had some significance at the time.
I ran to my husband to show him that God was yet again confirming what He was doing in our life. I said - "The year 2008 is upon us and look at what the number 8 means!!!!!"
Later that night is when I found out I was pregnant. We began to try and figure out the due date and realized the baby would be born in August - the 8th month - between the 6th-8th day!
By now you all know that:
Gabriella Grace Young was born on 08/08/08.
She weighed 8lbs. 80z.
2008 was our 18th wedding anniversary.
She is my parents 8th grandchild.
I think the number 8 = new beginnings is very significant for our family.
Is God incredible? The greatest and most creative mind that ever lived could never orchestrate anything like this - or even imagine it - God is so magnificent!
That is our story - the story of a love that created a miraculous life!!
Now you know why we love octopi ~ the 8-legged little wonder! Whenever you see an octopus think about us, our little baby and God's tremendous love for His children!

Sunday, August 9, 2009


(mercy-steadfast love)

Psalm 90:14
O satisfy us with Your mercy and loving-kindness
in the morning that we may rejoice and
be glad all of our days.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Kitchenettes' Captured Moments

A Kitchenettes' Theme Party

O is for Octopus Birthday Party

There is nothing better than a kitchen full of girls buzzing around preparing for a birthday party! Our littlest Kitchenette - really just a baby "ette" at this time ~ is turning one on the 8th of August. In honor of Gabriella Grace Young, a "theme party" was created ~ and the theme was the beloved "Octopus". Why, O Why, Do We Love Octopi?? You will have to wait for the unveiling of the Octopus Tale after Gabriella's official birthday tomorrow.

Now, back to the Kitchenettes...

Once you chose a subject the fun begins! How many "octopi" related things for a party could there be?? The girls learned the art of coordinating a themed party and making every detail special! The table was set with a centerpiece of cascading octopi - surrounded by pink plates, cups, napkins and utensils all embellished with little octopi adornments. Each girl received a favor bag with an octopus beach toy and many sweet candy treats.

Our craft projects were royal octopus crowns embellished with brightly colored butterfly sequence. The girls sat in a circle meticulously gluing gems onto their tiaras - absolutely a vision of loveliness.

The menu allowed the girls to acquire many new skills and tips to include: cutting shapes, making scallion garnishes (looked like little lacy octopus- the perfect accompaniment to your dish.), baking, mixing cake, boiling, safety with a hot oven, cupcake decorating, using pastry tools, tablescapes, handcrafts , paper art and many other inspired ideas all woven into one spectacular night of hospitable pursuits!

We feasted on Octopus Wienies with Octopus Crescent Rolls, Fresh Veggies, Potato Chips and the most adorable Octopus Cupcakes!!!

Gabriella was the bell of the ball and even if she does not remember .....I will. These precious girls loved my darling baby and created priceless memories. Thank you ~ I love you all!

Your beginnings will seem humble, so prosperous will your future be. Job 8:7

Sunday, August 2, 2009


Psalm 16:11You will show me the path of life;
in Your presence is fullness of joy;
at Your right hand are pleasures forevermore.


The Kitchenettes ~ A Hospitality Club

Romans 12:13
Pursue the practice of hospitality.

The Kitchenettes is all about teaching and mentoring young girls in the art of hospitality. It is so much more than cooking or doing domestic tasks ~ hospitality is the very heart of God ~ a demonstration of pouring His love onto others. This group of young girls are learning the very nature and character of God as they serve people and sharpen their skills in homemaking.



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