Food for the Soul ~ James 1:12

We have been going through the book of James recently at church. What a wonderful book of insight and practical applications! We have also endured a few trials this summer. While I doubt that anyone would actually enjoy testing or difficult circumstances, I can honestly say that I have a new appreciation for them.
I have seen first hand how faith grows through difficult times. But more than that, the trials have given us perfect teachable moments with our kiddos that might not have had the same impact had we not walked through the fire together.  I encourage you, if you are in the middle of a trial, to persevere.  Don't waste your time asking, "Why me?" Instead, seek to find a purpose in it that glorifies God in the middle of it. Sometimes it doesn't make any sense at all and you may not know how the Lord will use it in your life. During these times, trust the Father. His every purpose is for your good and His glory. Praying you remain steadfast in your faith this week!
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Creative Ways Link Party #11 and Features

Are there any party animals out there? Well, you've come to the right place! It's time for the Creative Ways Link Party #11 and the features from last week's party too! Have you had a good week? I've said it before and I'll say it again...this summer is speeding along at a pace I'm not entirely comfortable with. Can you believe August is just a couple of weeks away? Eeek!
As I type away at the computer, I'm listening to my daughter practice her lines for the musical our church is putting on at the end of this week's Musicamp. A few weeks ago it seemed like Musicamp was so far out into the summer, and yet here it is. Between driving the kiddos to and from the camp, other activities and a little bit of working with my husband, I have not had time to get any blog posts done for you all. I had no intention of taking time off during the summer, but life has got the best of me. I hope to get back to a more regular posting schedule soon. Thanks for being such sweet, loyal readers! You seriously make my heart smile when I read your kind comments. I have been enjoying all the wonderful posts you've been linking up at the parties too. This week was chock full of wonderful summer inspiration. Here were a few of the posts that caught my eye:
Clockwise from Top Left
Summer is Here Brunch by Lamberts Lately
(All of the recipes Leslie put into this post look amazing! I love how pretty the fruit pizza is.)
New Patio Chairs and a Fun Pillow by Zu Haus at Home
(Moni showed us how easy it is to add a little pizzazz to an otherwise plain pillow. Love the dots!)
Cherry Upside Down Cake with Almond Whipped Cream by Love Bakes Good Cakes
(Jamie never ceases to amaze me. This Cherry Upside Down Cake was worth the wait!)
Oatmeal Chocolate Chunk Cookie Brownies by Swanky Recipes
(Oatmeal and Chocolate are the perfect complements to each other in this dessert that combines two of my loves...brownies and cookies!)
Corn on the Cob Cake by The Painted Apron
(This cake is so stinking clever! Such great attention to detail...especially those little "butter pats".)
French Inspired Piano Bench Makeover by My Love 2 Create
(This is truly an ugly duckling to beautiful swan transformation. Don't take my word for it. Go see for yourself.)

If you missed seeing any of these great posts last week, follow the links and go check them out. You will not be disappointed. 

Link Party Guidelines
  • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
  • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
  • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways
  • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
  • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
  • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
  • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
    Posed Perfection
    <a href="www.posedperfection.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc454/pianoprincessdesigns/creativewaysbutton_zps0fd67676.png~original" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

    I've gotten a few messages that you aren't getting notifications of my new posts.  I would love for you to start following me on BlogLovin' to ensure you get the latest posts. You'll get an email every day with updates from all the blogs you follow on BlogLovin'. I would hate for you to be missing out on fun new content all because of technology issues. I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!
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    Food for the Soul ~ Ephesians 4:2

    Well, we picked up our son yesterday after he'd been away at church camp for a week. It was his first time away from home when he wasn't staying with family. We missed him terribly and are so happy to have him home safe and sound. 
    As you may already know, we are a homeschooling family. So, we are together A LOT. Sometimes all that "togetherness" can cause friction...okay...screaming, slamming doors and crying. Add that to the fact that both kids are entering those lovely years of changes and we've got quite the atmosphere for sibling squabbles. Ephesians 4:2 will be a verse that we will become well acquainted with this year. I often talk with the kids about being patient with one another, but I don't think I've ever focused on the first part of the verse where it says to "be completely humble." It makes perfect sense. If your heart attitude is one of humility, being patient should be the natural response to less than desirable behaviors. Praying your week is filled with peace and beauty!
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    Creative Ways Link Party #10 and Features

    Here we are! Another week has passed and it's time for this week's Creative Ways Link Party! I don't know about you, but I feel like the summer is flying by and I'm still trying to hitch a ride with it. Looking into this month packed with camps for the kiddos, I can hardly believe how quickly August will be here. As I type this, my oldest is midway through his first weeklong away-from-home camp. It's amazing how fast the time goes. I had better get cracking on my summer bucket list. Wait, is it too late to make a summer bucket list? ;-)
    I'm so glad you've stopped by to party with us all tonight! You've been so generous in sharing spectacular recipes, projects and ideas! Thanks for all the inspiration you bring each week! Here were some of the awesome posts that caught my eye from last week's party:
    Clockwise from Top Left

    Chunky Chicken Salad by To Work with My Hands
    (I love that this version has different flavors than traditional chicken salad recipes.)
    DIY Play Kitchen by Refresh Living
    (Great repurposing of an outdated piece of furniture! What little kid wouldn't love whipping up something in this adorable kitchen?!?)
    (Hard to believe this gorgeous cake starts with a mix! I can't wait to try this.)
    Rustic Ampersand Symbol by Her Tool Belt
    (Rustic meets modern in this awesome bookcase accessory! Love that pop of coral!)
    (This creamy, dreamy pie just screams summer to me!)
    Paper Flower Bouquet by Lazy Mom's
    (Is this just not the sweetest thing? I can totally see my little crafter making up a bunch of these.)
    Water Coloring Technique with World of Dreams by Stamping on the Back Porch
    (I adore this watercolor technique! What a fun way to add color to your cards!)

    If you didn't get a chance to see these great projects, follow the links to check them out first hand! Alright, let's get to this week's party!

    Link Party Guidelines
    • Please link up to 3 of your family-friendly DIY Projects, Crafts or Recipes...your Creative Ways
    • Please link to a specific post on your blog, not just your home page.
    • Please do not link up Etsy shops or giveaways
    • Please follow Posed Perfection by clicking on one of my pretty, colorful buttons on the sidebar, and let me know so I can follow you back.
    • I'd love for you to add the party button to your post, a visible link back on your post, or a link on a party page. We want your creative friends to join us too!
    • Be sure to visit at least 2 links and leave some comment love. 
    • By linking up to this party, your are giving authorization for your projects/recipes to be featured with a photo and a link back to your blog.
      Posed Perfection
      <a href="www.posedperfection.com" target="_blank"><img src="http://i1212.photobucket.com/albums/cc454/pianoprincessdesigns/creativewaysbutton_zps0fd67676.png~original" alt="Posed Perfection" width="250" height="177" /></a>

      I've gotten a few messages that you aren't getting notifications of my new posts.  I would love for you to start following me on BlogLovin' to ensure you get the latest posts. You'll get an email every day with updates from all the blogs you follow on BlogLovin'. I would hate for you to be missing out on fun new content all because of technology issues. I can't wait to see all your Creative Ways!
       photo signature_zpsd4bb4d5b.png


      Classic Oatmeal Scotchies

      "C is for Cookie, that's good enough for me!" I can't help but sing this old song when I start baking up cookies! I am a cookie fanatic! I love that they are portable. I love that I can add whatever mix-ins I want. I love that there is built in portion control... unless I choose to eat a whole dozen of these Oatmeal Scotchies! 
      This is one of those recipes I wrote down long ago on a sheet of notebook paper and tucked into my trusty recipe box. I pull it out from time to time, when I want something other than chocolate in my cookies. Classic Oatmeal Scotchies are always a good choice when trying to decide what kind of cookie to make. Let's face it, I'd much rather make up a batch of these at home than fill the cookie jar with store-bought cookies loaded with ingredients I can't even pronounce.
      Here's what you need: butter, brown sugar, white sugar, eggs, vanilla, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, oats, and butterscotch chips.
      Start by creaming together the butter and sugars. Add in the eggs and then vanilla.
      Next, mix in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
      Finally, stir in oats and butterscotch chips. Do your best not to eat all the dough before you bake it ;-)
      Drop by tablespoonfuls onto baking mat or parchment-lined cookie sheet.  
      Bake for 7-8 minutes, until light golden brown. Alternately, you could spread the dough into a jelly roll pan and bake for 18-22 minutes, then cut into bars.
      Cool completely on wire rack, drinking in the delicious buttery sweet aroma!
      Classic Oatmeal Scotchies

      1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
      1 tsp. baking soda
      1/2 tsp. cinnamon
      1/2 tsp. salt
      1 cup butter, softened
      3/4 cup sugar
      3/4 cup brown sugar, packed
      2 large eggs
      1 tsp. vanilla
      3 cups quick or old-fashioned oats
      1 2/3 cup butterscotch chips

      Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In large mixing bowl, combine butter and sugar, beating until fluffy. Add in eggs and vanilla. Stir in flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon, and then oats. Finally, stir in butterscotch chips. Drop by tablespoonfuls 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheet or one lined with a baking mat or parchment paper. Bake for 7-8 minutes or until lightly golden. (For bars, place the dough into a lightly greased jelly roll pan and bake for 18-22 minutes.)
      There is something so wonderful and simple about Oatmeal cookies. It almost doesn't even matter what you put in them. What kind of mix-ins do you put with your oatmeal cookies? Are you a raisin fan or are you more like my family where chocolate is king?
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      I'm linking up at some of these great parties and