Thursday, January 23, 2014

Valentine's Day Creativity~How to Share God's Love Extravagently

Valentines Day is my favorite holiday by far because it gives me extra opportunities to show my family how very much I love them and how deeply our Heavenly Father loves them. Here are a few ideas to lavish love on your husband and children this year.

Countdown to Valentines Day:

I made this Countdown to Valentines Day for my awesome hubby this year by printing off a blank February calendar (just google calendar templates), adding some red card stock and decorations, and including two of his favorite things...Dove chocolates and sincere compliments/praise. For each day leading up to Valentines Day, I wrote something that I love about him. I then taped a Dove chocolate over each day to hide the words. Each day he can enjoy something sweet for his soul and for his belly :-).

U R A Winner Valentine Cards for my son's 1st grade class:

To create an affordable, easy, and fun Valentine for my son to give his friends this year, we cut red and pink card stock in four rectangles, and my son drew tic tac toe boards on them and wrote the words "U R A Winner" on top. We put them in a ziplock bag and included 18 M&M's (9 each of 2 different colors). His friends will have fun playing tic tac toe and then will have the added benefit of enjoying a few yummy M&M's.

Pop Quiz (Ring Pop) Valentines

To add to his Tic Tac Toe Valentines, we made these cute Ring Pop Valentines with anyone free printable tag that says, "Pop Quiz-Will you be my Valentine". The link for the tags can be found here:
I found heart cellophane bags at the Dollar Tree and Valentine Ring Pops at Walmart.  


February Family Devotions:

I stumbled across this idea on Pinterest, and quickly purchased the 99 cent download.
 The blog author has written short family devotions for the 28 days in February on the subject of God's love and loving others through acts of kindness. I printed out each devotional, cut out the days, put them in individual envelopes, and decorated a bag to store them in. There are 6 "Kindness in Action" days where you are asked to perform an act of kindness as a family. There is a printable list of possible ideas for you to choose from or you can come up with your own ideas. I look forward to sharing these devotions and sharing God's love through acts of service with my family each day during the month of February.

Valentine Mailboxes:

This is a recurrent Valentine tradition in our home, and my 7 year old son starts anticipating it as early as January 1st :-). I have a mailbox for my husband and two children, and each day I fill their mailboxes with a sweet note, a special snack or candy, or a small toy or book. I found the mailboxes for a $1 at Target and Michaels, and the treats I buy during after-Christmas clearance sales or from the Dollar Tree. My son goes to bed each night in February super excited about waking up to see his mailbox surprises :-).

Valentine Treats:

I also love making special Valentine treats each year. Here are a few links to Valentine recipes that I have posted in the past:

 Toddler Valentine Snack Mix:


Baked Heart Shaped Donuts:


2 Ingredient Strawberry Fudge:


Valentine Chex Mix:


Blessings Dear Friends!

May your Love overflow and overwhelm others with kindness this Valentines Day. God's Unfailing Love enables us to Love Deeply with no other purpose than to draw others to the Agape love of our Heavenly Father.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Cream Cheese Frosted Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats

Because it is Autumn; Because I love all things Pumpkin; and because my sweet two year old baking assistant LOVES marshmallows, we spent a rainy morning creating these yummy Cream Cheese Frosted Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats.

Cream Cheese Frosted Pumpkin Pie Rice Krispie Treats


1/4 cup corn syrup
1/2 cup butter (1 stick)
1 teaspoon vanilla 
1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1 box Instant Jello Pudding (Pumpkin Spice flavor)
*you could use French vanilla if you can't find the pumpkin flavor*
7-8 cups Rice Krispies Cereal
1 Bag Pumpkin Spice Flavored Marshmallows
1container cream cheese frosting
Cinnamon Sugar to dust on top


In a very large bowl, place 7-8 cups of Rice Krispies. Next, in a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter with the corn syrup over medium heat. Add the pumpkin spice marshmallows, and stir well. Add the vanilla extract, the pumkin pie spice and the dry pudding mixture. Stir until smooth. Pour the marshmallow/butter mixture over the cereal in your large bowl. Use a soft rubber spatula to stir the cereal gently, making sure to coat it completely. Spread the mixture evenly into a greased 9x13 inch pan. Let sit 15 minutes. Open your container of cream cheese frosting and spread it over the top of the Krispie treats. Sprinkle the top with cinnamon sugar (mix 2-3 tablespoons sugar with one tablespoon cinnamon). Place pan in the refrigerator to set for at least 1 hour. Remove and slice into squares. Enjoy with a yummy cup of cocoa or a pumpkin spice latte :-).

Enjoy dearest friends! Remember that your job today is to HOPE in The Lord. He will sustain, strengthen, and love you with an EVERLASTING LOVE.

Jeremiah 31:3
Long ago the Lord said to Israel:“I have loved you, my people, with an everlasting love. With unfailing love I have drawn you to myself."

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Apple Pie Monkey Bread Bundles

For our Mothers of Preschoolers meeting tomorrow, I wanted to bring something new and yummy. I perused my pantry and fridge and came up with these wonderful goodies. I called them apple pie monkey bread bundles because they are like a cross between a hot apple pie and gooey monkey bread :-). Try them for your family this weekend. They will make your tummy happy, your home smell heavenly, and your heart smile as you watch the joy they bring to everyone who tries one :-). 

Have a Blessed Day dear friends! You are dearly loved and prayed for! God sings and dances over you with delight...remind your children of that often (they need the encouragment and love so much)!

Zephaniah 3:17
For the Lord your God is living among you
   He is a mighty savior
He will take delight in you with gladness.
  With his love, he will calm all your fears.
  He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”


Apple Pie Monkey Bread Bundles

1 can Pillsbury Grands Biscuits (I used the Southern Style type)
4 apples, chopped finely 
2 teaspoons apple pie spice
1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping
1/2 stick butter, melted
1/4 cup cinnamon sugar mixture

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Peel and chop four apples finely. Put the apples in a large bowl and add two teaspoons apple pie spice. stir gently. Drizzle 1/4 cup caramel ice cream topping over the apples and gently stir. Open the can of biscuits. With a rolling pin, flatten each biscuit. Place a heaping spoonful of apples in the center of each biscuit. Fold up the sides of the biscuit and cinch them together with your fingers. Melt the 1/2 stick of butter in the microwave for 30 seconds. Meanwhile, put 1/4 cinnamon sugar in a small dish. Take each biscuit bundle and dip it in the melted butter, coating all sides. Next roll the buttered bundle in the cinnamon sugar mixture. Coat a muffin tin generously with cooking spray. Place each bundle, seam side down in the tins. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-25 minutes (until lightly browned). Enjoy this yummy breakfast treat!
Serves 8

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Triple Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies and Patience in the waiting


These cookies should come with a warning label...they are that AMAZING and VERY ADDICTIVE :-). I recently found this recipe on the baking blog, Bakergirl, and since I already had all of the ingredients in my pantry, I decided to give them a try. These cookies were shared with many people who almost instantly requested the recipe. So bake some today and share with friends and family....I promise these cookies will make you a star :-)! The original recipe can be found here:

Have a Blessed week dear friends! You are dearly loved and prayed for!

 This verse encouraged me so much today as we continue on our adoption journey ( and I wanted to share it in case any of you have been called by God and are growing impatient in the waiting.

"But these things I plan won't happen right away. Slowly, steadily, surely, the time approaches when the vision will be fulfilled. If it seems slow, be patient! For it will surely take place. It will not be late by a single day." ~Habakkuk 2:3

Triple Fudge Oreo Crunch Cookies

1 cup butter-flavored shortening
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups chocolate chips or chunks
12-15 Oreos, roughly cut into quarters
3/4 cup white chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease baking sheets with 
no-stick cooking spray and set aside. 

In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening, sugar, 
eggs, and vanilla until smooth.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking soda,
 and salt. Slowly add to the sugar mixture and beat until 
well-combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

Using a wooden spoon, stir in the chocolate chips, Oreo chunks, 
and white chocolate chips until incorporated. Scoop out dough 
and roll into 2 tablespoons-sized balls. Place on baking sheet 
about 2 inches apart and slightly flatten with your hand. 

Bake for 9-11 minutes, or until done. Let cool on baking sheet for 5 minutes, then remove to cool completely.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Apple Pie Brownies

I stumbled across a recipe for apple brownies that I tweaked, and the result was delicious. These brownies would be the perfect addition to a brunch or breakfast party. Their cinnamon scent smells just heavenly.

Enjoy! You are dearly loved by your Heavenly Father and prayed for daily. This song has blessed me this week given the many tragedies our country has faced recently.
Our God is always Faithful, and His love is unending!

Apple Pie Brownies


3/4    cup    butter ( (1 and 1/2 sticks) butter or margarine, softened ) 
2    cups Light brown sugar 
2    eggs 
1    teaspoon vanilla extract 
2    cups flour 
1/2    teaspoon salt 
2    tablespoons baking powder 

1 can apple pie filling

2 tablespoons apple pie spice

Cinnamon sugar


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cream butter and sugar. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Add flour, baking powder, salt, apple pie spice and apple pie filling.  Mix well. Spread in a greased 9x13 pan. Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Stella & Dot Adoption Fundraiser: Buy your "Emma Charity" Jewelry Now

We are so blessed to have a new friend, Ashley Jones, who has provided us with a wonderful fundraising opportunity for Emma's adoption. Ashley sells the beautiful Stella & Dot jewelry, and she is hosting an online jewelry party for us and donating her comission to Emma's adoption.

She and I have selected a few pieces from the Stella & Dot line that will be the "EMMA" line. Each piece holds special significance to our family regarding Emma's adoption. The Odette collection is the "INFINITY" line. Emma Charity which means "complete" or "infinite" "love".  Adoption is similar because you share God's infinite love with a child who has no one...crossing borders and loving completely. Within the Odette collection there are two infinity necklaces, three pairs of infinity earrings, an infinity bracelet/cuff, and an infinity ring to choose from. These items can be viewed here:

We are also offering the TREE OF LIFE charm necklace which signifies family and being rooted together in Christ despite distance or circumstance. It is available in sterling silver or bronze.

And, lastly there will be a child's bracelet, called the "Little Dottie". We chose this piece for all the precious little girls who love to dress up and wear jewelry and who will love that they have helped bring Emma home by choosing this special piece.

How can you shop?  It’s easy!  Head to  At the top you will see “Find your Hostess.”  Click there and type in Christina Burrell.  At that point you can browse the site and shop away!  You may find all the beautiful jewelry overwhelming so we chose a few pieces that have special meaning and will tie us all together for Emma.  The show is open to shop now and will close on April 29.

We will receive 100% of the commission from every item that you purchase and you will have a special piece of jewelry to remind you/link you to our princess from Moldova, Emma Charity. It is our hope that each time you wear the jewelry you will say a special prayer over our family.

The online party will remain open until April 29, 2013, so place your orders soon. Please feel free to share this blog post and the party link and details with your friends and family. Every order brings us closer to our Emma.

If you would like a flyer or more information on these items mailed to you, then please email me at If you have any questions, you can also call me at 956-566-6756.

Thank you so much for your consideration in buying an "EMMA" piece and for helping us spread the word by sharing the link and the party information. May God pour out His LOVE and BLESSING on each of you!!

Friday, March 8, 2013

Our Moldovan Adoption-Online Auction for Awesome Items and Other Fundraising Opportunities

For those of you who do not know, we are in the process of adopting a little girl from Moldova. To read about our adoption story, visit our adoption blog here:

We have been so blessed to receive many wonderful things to auction off for Emma's Adoption costs. To everyone who has donated an item, we say "Thank You" from the bottom of our hearts! Each gift is a blessing.

The auction is now live. You can view the items here:

To bid, simply make a comment under the picture. The auction will run until Friday, March 15th at 10:00 p.m. (CST). At the conclusion of the auction, each winner will be contacted via email with instructions on how to pay for the item. If your item needs to be shipped, there is a shipping cost. Please pay for your items within 7 days via PayPal or a Check or Cash.

Please feel free to share the link with your friends, family, on your blog, etc... The more people who bid, the more money we will be able to raise for Emma's adoption. If you have any questions, contact me at

We ask for your prayers as we follow God's leading to Moldova. Pray for precious Emma to be surrounded with love and compassionate care while she is in the orphanage.

There are several ways that you can support our adoption financially.

One way that you can help support bringing Emma home to our family is by purchasing coffee from our store at: http:/
For every bag of coffee that you purchase, we will receive $5. Thank you so much for helping in this way. Please forward the link to everyone you know who likes coffee, hot cocoa, or tea. The coffee is absolutely delicious! My hubby is especially fond of the Rwandan.

We also have an online store where we are selling tshirts (both adoption-themed and Christian-themed). For every t-shirt you purchase, we will receive $8 to put towards our adoption. Please consider purchasing a shirt and forward the link to the store to your coworkers, friends, and family. The link to our store is:

If you feel led to just donate directly to our family, we promise you that 100% of your gift will go towards her adoption. You can contribute money by making checks out to Darin and Christina Burrell (please email me at to request our address) or through paypal at the paypal address:

Our greatest need is prayer-prayer of protection over Emma and prayers for God's provision and timing on the entire adoption process.

Thank you to everyone for your continual support, prayers, and love
Praying her home, Darin, Christina, Jaythan and Bella Joy