Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Linkies, Games and a Yummy Recipe!

Several things to include in this hodge podge post today!

First up - I recently received an e-mail from Jen at Legacy Prayer Journals. She sent me a free copy of her product and I can hardly wait to work on it! I am hoping to work on this in January while in Colorado.

I have mentioned before that landing on a good system for prayer requests can be very overwhelming to me. And, honestly - prayer is something I struggle with because it is hard to know how many legitimate needs there are and overwhelming to know how to keep up with them all.

I have found that keeping a prayer journal is the most successful thing for me. I like to write out my prayers. This is something I did several years ago and have just started again recently - it has made a wonderful difference.

I love the idea of having pictures and places to journal for those I will regularly be praying for. And, what an exciting way to begin teaching my children about prayer by including pictures of family and friends they can recognize and pray for even without knowing how to read.

Jen has created a CD of templates that you can print out and mount into a journal or scrapbook of your choice. Add pictures, favorite Scriptures, etc... to personalize the book and make it your own.

Thank you, Jen, for sharing your wonderful idea with me - I am eager to get going on my own Legacy Prayer Journal! If you are interested, Jen is having a special through December 25th. In the "special instructions" box, type in code "CHRISTMAS" and receive a 25% discount on your order. If you purchase more than one, you will receive 50% off each additional CD with the same code.

I also received some great Christmas cards from Elizabeth! This was a blessing because I usually make my own cards, but that did not happen this year! Here are my three favorites! She is always adding new things - so be sure to check in and see what's new! Thanks, Elizabeth!

I keep thinking I'll write this into its own post - but it hasn't happened - so I'll include it here! David and I love to play games. It is a standing Sunday afternoon tradition for us to enjoy a game together! We love lots of the classics, but have gotten several games in the past couple of years that have quickly become favorites!

I just realized while typing up this list that my sister is how I found out about all of these! One thing we like about each of these games is that they are good for only two players. These versions of Settlers and Castle are made to only be two-person games. Sometimes when you play a game it just doesn't work the same with only two players or isn't as challenging. These are definitely different!

Ticket to Ride: complete "routes" between cities or countries; lots of expansions and variations available.

Settlers of Catan: we had played the multi-player game at my sisters and loved it. I stumbled upon the card game for two players unopened at our local Salvation Army thrift store for just a couple of dollars. What a fun find! This game is very challenging and has lots of variations as well!

What are your favorite games?

And, here is a fun new recipe I tried over the weekend ~ fun and festive this time of year! It was the featured recipe on my Gooseberry Patch calendar this month.

Fudgy Peppermint Dreams

4 (1 oz.) squares unsweetened baking chocolate, coarsely chopped (or substitute 3 T. cocoa and 1 T. oil for each 1 oz. square)
1/2 c. plus 2 T. butter, divided
2 c. sugar
4 eggs, divided
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 c. flour
8 oz. softened cream cheese
1 T. cornstarch
1 (14 oz.) can sweetened condensed milk
1 tsp. peppermint extract
green food coloring
1 c. chocolate chips
1/2 c. whipping cream (I didn't have any so substituted the peppermint CoffeeMate Creamer instead)
crushed peppermint for garnish

Melt baking chocolate and 1/2 c. butter, stir until smooth. Add sugar, 3 eggs, vanilla and flour. Spread in greased 9x13 pan and bake at 350 for 12 minutes.

Beat together cream cheese, remaining butter and cornstarch until fluffy. Gradually add sweetened condensed milk, remaining egg and peppermint extract. Add food coloring.

Pour over hot layer and bake an additional 30 minutes.

Combine choc. chips and cream - melt in a saucepan or in microwave until smooth. Spread over top and garnish with crushed peppermint. Cool and chill. Makes 2-3 dozen bars.

Well, now - how was that for random! Any other random thoughts to add? :)


Anonymous said...

What a great post. I love the game ideas. I was just asking a friend if she knew of games that 2 play. This is perfect!!! The recipe looks and sounds fabulous--thank you!!!!tammyp

Anonymous said...

Ooooooo How fun!! I loved the Ticket to Ride game. You will have to bring your games if you get to visit.

Julie Willis said...

I'm so excited about the journal templates! I've been making my own (not so pretty over the years). This will be great for my girls! Thanks a bunch.

Amy said...

Love the games. My husband has put Ticket to Ride on his Christmas list this year! Maybe we'll be playing on Sunday afternoons in the new year! Thanks for sharing!

Elise said...

Fun stuff!! I love games, but we don't seem to play them much. That treaty-treat looks delicious!! I saw on Eyes of Wonder where Jewels made a scrapbook/collage of sorts where she journals and maybe writes down prayers, etc. Might be a good way to use up all the magazines also.

Paige said...

I've never seen any of those games. I'm more likely to strike up a game with Noah than with Scott. Which of these would be best for a mom and her smart 5th grader?

Anonymous said...

Of those, Ticket to Ride or the Carcasone game would probably be the easiest. But if he has done any collectible card games he can easily do the Settlers card game.

For all you game fans out there, check out Boardgame Geek for ALL kinds of information on games. Here is their list of their current top games:

Personally I _LOVE_ wargames and my kids will be well introduced to the basics by 5th grade (Risk, Axis & Allies). But do not forget Chess. Every kid needs to know at least how to play chess. Another "easy" game is "Go." Very simple game to learn with simple setup, but can be extremely challenging and complex.

There are so many good games out there to play. Do not think that only what you can get at Wally World is the only thing that canbe played. Card games, minatures games, board games, tile games, games, games, games...

Fe said...

Oooh:-) I just played Ticket to Ride (Europe) last weekend for the first time (although I had watched it a few times) and loved it:-)

Is it really an ok 2 person game? I'd thought of suggesting it as our family game for this Christmas (Father Christmas has given the family a game the last few years)... but it's probably a bit ahead of the kids at the moment, and I thought it would probably not work for 2, so I'd ruled it out... I may have to re-visit that idea:-)

Charree said...

My DH and I love to play Ticket to Ride. We recently discovered Memoir '44 (it is from the same company as ticket to ride) and it is a great two player game as well. I didn't know that they had a settlers in a two player version. Where did you find it?

GeonHui's Bakery said...

We love games too! I haven't played Ticket to Ride but love the other too! Thanks for the tip!

Jessica said...

My husband and I really enjoy playing games together, but you're right, it's hard with only two players. Here are two of our newer games that we can play with the two of us:

Bohnanza (pretty easy and it's fun with a group, too)

PowerGrid (this one is a little more complicated, but once you get going it's a lot of fun)

homeschooldawn said...

Great post! I love the templates.Thanks for sharing.

We also play Settlers of Catan. has a whole series of Bible-based board games that we play. A few of our favs are The Journeys of Paul, Solomon's Temple and a CCG called Redemption. The object of Redemption is to rescue lost souls from the Land of Bondage. They're a little pricey but we buy one per year for Christmas.

What a providential blessing to find the Settlers card game second-hand.

Christiana said...

That recipe looks great! And you've just inspired me to get the Settlers of Catan for my dh for Christmas. :)

Karen said...

If you like Catan you might like Agricola. My husband loves all games. He's introduced me to many: Catan, Ticket to Ride, Agricola, Puerto Rico... But Agricola is our new favorite.

He's also a boardgame designer, with one game supposed to be released early next year. It's called Revolution.

If you like Catan, you'll like Revolution, if I do say so myself. :)

*carrie* said...

That is a random post. =) I was just noticing that recipe on the calendar--glad you like them!

May have another game suggestion for you in a couple weeks--we'll see . . . =)

Monica Wilkinson said...

Charree: My hubby is getting Memoir '44 for Christmas! (Don't worry he already knows about it!)

I found the Settlers two person game at the Salvation Army thrift store for $2 or $3 - but they also sell it on Amazon.

Lisar said...

What about Backgammon? Definitely only a 2 person game. The sad thing is, I love Backgammon, but you really can't play it by yourself!!! Any suggestion sfor one person games!!! Apart from computer based games?

Deanna said...

Hi Monica,
I've come out of "lurkerland" if you will :P. Truly though, I know I came across your blog from a fellow bloggers blog but I can't remember whose? I journey over to so many blogs that I forget how I got there!

I come across so many interesting blogs and some just stand out and command my attention. I love your sweet blog and the pictures that you share of your family. I have on my own blog list, a group of crafty women whose blogs I love to read because I have not an ounce of crafty-ness in me. I love to see what people do at home like baking, sewing....things like that. But most importantly, raising their families and finding time to share those tender and fun-filled times with others.

I would like to add your blog to my list of favorites on my Timeless Things blog. Please feel free to come over and visit and to make sure that you are comfortable with my blog. You can email me at

I hope to hear from you! May you and your dear family have a most blessed Christmas!

Deanna :)

Anonymous said...

My hubby and I also loves to play games. Did you know you can play catan online @ Domaine is one we love to play its similar to Catan. There is also a Bible Version of Catan, I believe its called Settlers in Cannan

joysmallpack said...

Nobody has mentioned Lost Cities card game yet! That is another good two player game you could check out for your Sunday afternoons. :-) We have used that same website your husband mentioned. We just ordered 3 games of Lost Cities for friends and family for Christmas, and although we had looked at Ticket to Ride, we didn't get it. Now after this post, I just went and ordered it as a surprise for my husband. Yay!!! The ones we have most enjoyed so far are Carcassonne, Catan, and Puerto Rico, but now I'm intrigued to try Agricola. Thanks for sharing about the fun world of games! :-)

Unknown said...

THese games look great! :-) Thanks, Monica! And so does the treat~ DELISH!

Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for posting the recipe! I too have the calendar and made the treats for my co-workers but forgot to bring in my recipe. I didn't expect to get any results when I did an online search for "Fudgy Peppermint Dreams" but was nicely surprised to see your site! Thanks again!