Friday, December 24, 2010

Red Velvet Cake

It's that time of year and I am still getting requests for this recipe of my husband's Red Velvet Cake. He claims you cannot substitute any item because it will not taste right nor turn out right. Follow the directions and enjoy! Have a very Merry Christmas!!!

Brian's Red Velvet Cake

1/2 cup shortening

1 & 1/2 cup sugar

2 eggs

2 tsp. cocoa

2 (1 oz.) bottles of red food coloring

1 tsp. baking soda

1 cup buttermilk

1 tsp salt

2 & 1/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour

1 tsp. vanilla

1 tsp. vinegar

Cream shortening, sugar, and eggs. Well! Mix cocoa and food coloring. Add to creamed mixture. Sift flour three times. (yes, Brian sifts it 3 times) Alternately add flour and buttermilk, beginning and ending with flour. Add vanilla. Mix vinegar and soda. Add to creamed mixture. Bake at 350. Grease and flour pans (three 9 inch cake tins). Bake 25 minutes.

Red Cake Frosting

2 cubes of Imperial margarine (He insist on Imperial)

1 cup sugar

1 tsp. vanilla

3 heaping Tbsp. flour

1 cup milk

Cream Imperial margarine, sugar, and vanilla for 5 minutes with electric mixer. Mix milk and flour then cook over medium heat stirring constantly with a whisk until thickened. Set it aside until it is completely cool. After it is cool, add to creamed mixture. Mix well. (Like thick whipping cream) Set in fridge to chill for about 30 minutes. If this is not completely cool before continuing to the next step, it will not turn out right. Mix again and then frost the cake. The secret to this frosting is enough patience to mix it long enough. Longer mixing makes better frosting.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Real Service

To give real service
you must add something
which cannot be bought or measured with money,
and that is
sincerity and integrity.
- Donald A. Adams

Monday, September 27, 2010

Stay True

Real heroes are men who fall and fail and are flawed, but win out in the end because they've stayed true to their ideals and beliefs and commitments.
- Kevin Costner

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Do Your Best

Being forced to work, and forced to do your best,
will breed in you temperance and self-control,
diligence and strength of will,
cheerfulness and content,
and a hundred virtues which the idle never know.
- Charles Kingsley

Friday, September 24, 2010

Love Deeply: Fountain of Youth?

Those who love deeply never grow old;
they may die of old age, but they die young.
- A.W. Pinero

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Sweeter Now...

4 years of dating + 31 years of marriage = 35 years
of life and love.
I'm still in love after all these years.
In fact, it is sweeter now than then.
We've come a long way, baby.
Happy Anniversary, Brian.

Friday, September 10, 2010

What Happened to Decency???

Self-respect, decency, and modesty have become foreign to America. Does anybody know where such virtues went? The more I am in public, the more disgusted I become. Rolls of flesh are exposed and on display everywhere my eyes land, and garments look as if they have been painted onto bodies with many of them not having enough "paint" to finish the job. Young or old, it makes no difference. Nothing is left to the imagination. Recently, we took my in-laws out to an elegant dinner to celebrate their anniversary. In this fine dining establishment, two grossly overweight women entered wearing skin-tight, ripped jeans with painted on dirty looking t-shirts that exposed their large midriffs. Is there no shame? America needs a revival of pride and decency.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010


If you enjoy godly music, chances are you can find a style you prefer at This website is the internet radio voice of the United Pentecostal Church International. has been playing my CD on their site for quite awhile and recently contacted me requesting an interview for their newly developed blog. I am honored and flattered to be their featured artist this week. You can read mine and other artists interviews at Also, feel free to listen to tunes from the official website while you work or browse the internet. At the home page, select the style you prefer or random shuffle. Best of all, it is completely free.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Abundant Life

The abundant life does not come to those
who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others.
It develops from within
and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber.
-William Mather Lewis

That "strong mental and moral fiber" comes from God.

"The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy:

I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly."
John 10:10 (KJV)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Are You Brave?

Physical courage, which despises all danger,
will make a man brave in one way;
and moral courage, which despises all opinion,
will make a man brave in another.
- Charles Caleb Colton

Tuesday, August 31, 2010


With this new age of Facebook, Twitter, and numerous other social sites, it has become easy for people to slander, spew filth, and lash out in anger. Some use the guise that their venting is necessary for their healing. However, smearing malicious propaganda does not heal but rather lengthens bitter roots which attach deep in the soul never to escape eternal sorrow. If one wants true peace, follow Philippians 4:8. "Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." (KJV)

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The Average Man

The virtues which keep this world sweet
and the faithfulness which keeps it steadfast
are chiefly those of the average man.
- W. Russell Bowie

Monday, August 23, 2010

A Few Pics...

Bryn in a rock cave at Madonna Inn
Bryn and Daddy playing in the sand
Blake playing on the beach
Bryce and Blake at Montana de Oro
Bryce at Montana de Oro
Blake, Sparkles and Bryn crusin' camp
Bryn at Madonna Inn doors

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Of Life and Love

It was 35 years ago today, I had my first date with Brian. We didn't realize that night we were taking the first step towards a together-forever-life. Looking back, it was the first impressions of that night that caught me. He opened the car door for me, opened the door to the restaurant, put the sweetener in my iced tea, placed my order with the waitress, and was a perfect gentleman. Just a couple weeks later, we attended the same youth camp and I watched him as he prayed for those who desired a closer walk with the Lord. That sealed the deal for me. I realized he could have walked out of the tabernacle and joined friends at the snack bar but he made the choice to help someone in need.

This beginning was followed by four years of long-distance dating without the benefits of a phone or the Internet. It was handwritten letters sent by snail-mail across the ocean and a two or three minute call on Christmas. His letters to me were always splashed with his cologne and I knew from the wafting fragrance I had a letter in the mail even before I could see it. Sometimes, I pull a letter from a box and smile as I recall our young love.

With lots of miles from traveling around the world working in missions, pastoring, teaching, singing, and three children later, I pause to reminiscence. What a journey we have been on! It's been fun - it's been real - it's been somewhat crazy - it's been life and love.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

It's That Time of Year

Camp, camp, and more camp. Next week is Junior Youth Camp for seven to 14 year olds. The following week is Camp Meeting for families and, the third week is Senior Youth Camp for 15 to 25 year olds. One of the benefits is the location. These camps are all held on the Central California Coast and the weather is a taste of heaven. The days are usually in the 70's and the nights dip to the low 50's. Coming from the San Joaquin Valley where summer days are over 100 degrees, the coast weather is a huge drawing card to the valley people. Pictures and updates will be posted later. In the meantime, what are you doing for your summer? Are you involved in any camps?

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Say What?

When God Speaks... can take it to the bank.

One of our new babes-in-Christ felt like he received a message from God through a vision. Here's the story. His fiancee was great with child and all ultrasounds had indicated she would have a girl. The baby shower was full of frills and lots of pink but...something happened. In the vision, the dad heard a voice say, "You will not have a girl but thou shalt have a son and thou shalt call his name Elijah." He saw himself in the hospital and the doctors telling him it was a boy. The rest of the story is that daddy is very happy and mommy, although very happy, is quite surprised. Oh, and I visited them at the hospital today and Elijah is a beautiful boy. Congrats to the new mommy and daddy!!!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Some Pics of Summer Happenings

Blake in the California State Assembly
Bryn in the California State Senate
Blake at the Museum of Fine Arts, San Francisco
Bryce, Bryn, and Blake overlooking San Francisco
My beautiful princess Bryn with her hair blowing in the breeze.
San Francisco, California
Bryce and Bryn on a San Francisco Cable Car
Bryn drinking sparkling cider at a wedding reception

Monday, June 28, 2010

"Good Looking"

The one I call "Good Looking" is now taller than me. While traveling with freeWAY on their Texas tour, Blake decided to buy a cowboy hat. I think he makes a pretty cute cowboy. I hope your summer is sailing smooth. Mine is very busy but I will try to post pics and videos as soon as possible.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Roles of Coaching

Coaching roles vary, but typical work activities are likely to include:

Performance Management:

 evaluate performance and provide suitable feedback
 balance criticism with positive and motivating comments
 assess strengths and weaknesses in one’s performance and identify areas for further development
 communicate instructions and commands using clear, simple language
 demonstrate an activity by breaking the task down into a sequence
 encourage one to gain and develop skills, knowledge and techniques
 ensure that one trains and performs to a high standard
 inspire confidence
 act as a role model, gain the respect and trust of the people you work with
 work to a high ethical standard at all times

Friday, June 4, 2010

You Need A Coach

While traveling with freeway Quartet on their recent tour in the Houston, Texas area, I had a thought I wish to share. The law requires children to attend school and there they receive instruction which will affect their entire life. Most students, cannot wait for graduation day and school to end, yet, there are some who have lofty goals and a desire to achieve . Whatever path one chooses, they all must become a “performer.” Every career can be successful, according to performance. Each student/performer, must make a choice to just “pass the grade” or excel. So what can make a difference? In my opinion, it is the willingness to accept a coach.

All students have a teacher who provides instruction, but that only equips the student with knowledge of technique and skill. It does not guarantee how well the student can perform said techniques or what level of skill is reached. This is readily identified by the grade given. Instructors play a vital role but more than instruction is needed to be successful. What pushes one to greatness, is an aggressive coach who will take a competent student/performer and push him to perfection. A coach will help a performer work towards achieving their full potential and bring out ability by identifying needs, then plan and implement suitable training.

The sports and entertainment world has many coaches. Every gold medalist had a great coach. Have you ever wondered if the coach was so good, why didn’t he or she perform for the gold? The fact is, the coach may not be able to physically perform but they know what it takes to make a great performer. A classic example is Michael Jordan who was a star athlete who decided to try coaching and he was a lousy coach. On the other hand, Phil Jackson was not a power player but became a star coach. These two men joined their respective expertise and became great.

Throughout the years, my husband and I have loved working with young people. We have taken several groups of youth on foreign missions trips, worked with them at youth camps, taught youth convention choir and, most recently worked with freeWAY Quartet. These four young men were all members of WAY (Western All-State Youth) Choir. There they received vocal instruction and were taught technique. After singing just two songs and seeing the great potential, I encouraged these four young men to record. I readily admit there have been times when the coaching my husband and I gave them was rough and there were days attitudes flared. However, through perseverance and the desire to sing to the best of their ability, these young men are now sought after accomplished vocalists.

In the spiritual realm, one attends church and receives instruction through various ministries that use the Word of God to teach technique and skill. The instruction can be received, the Word planted, and some will become “star” saints while others never rise above mediocre. The coach (pastor) sees potential and works hard to push the saint to excel but the choice remains with the saint - get angry at the pastor’s prodding or push through the rigors of hard training and achieve. The pastor only wants what is best for the saints, improved performance, and a desire to see them become great in the Kingdom of God. If only people understood the purpose and value of a coach.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

freeWAY Update

freeWAY with Pastor Rob and Mrs. Shara McKee in Katy, Texas

This poor blog must surely feel neglected. It isn't intentional but my internet access was quite limited this past week while touring in Texas with freeWAY. The quartet did a great job and was well received in every venue. For more updates, visit:!/pages/California/freeWAY-Quartet/107682435926858?ref=ts&ajaxpipe=1&__a=25
While traveling, Keith (freeWAY tenor) and I had a discussion about instructors, coaches and performers. It prompted many thoughts and, hopefully, I will put them together and share them with you in a few days. Hope life is treating you fair and you are enjoying your summer.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Three Great Essentials

The three great essentials to achieving anything worthwhile are;
first, hard work,
second, stick-to-it-iveness,
and third, common sense.
- Thomas Edison

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Happy Birthday to Bryce

(Bryce singing at Eagle's Summit, May 2010)
Happy Birthday, Bryce.
Hope you have enjoyed your day.
My first born, my son, you will forever be.
I love you,

Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Mother's Love...

...goes beyond all boundaries. Here is an incredible story of the love and care a mother gives her gravely wounded son.

There are mothers who will spend today missing sons and daughters fighting overseas. There are women who have lost children in those wars, for whom Mother's Day will never be the same.
And then there is Eva Briseno.

Joseph Briseno Jr., Eva's 27-year-old son, is one of the most severely wounded soldiers ever to survive. A bullet to the back of his head in a Baghdad marketplace in 2003 left him paralyzed, brain-damaged and blind, but awake and aware of his condition.

Eva takes care of "Jay" in her suburban Virginia home where the family room has been transformed into an intensive care unit, with the breathing machine and tubes he needs to stay alive
. Click on below link for the rest of the story.

My Greatest Achievement

Friday, May 7, 2010

Casa de Fruta

Returning from Eagle's Summit, we stopped for a few minutes at Casa de Fruta. The kids enjoyed the antiques and I was able to get a few good snapshots of them. I think I had as much fun watching them as they did exploring.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Renaissance of Wonder

We need a renaissance of wonder.
We need to renew,
in our hearts and in our souls,
the deathless dream, the eternal poetry,
the perennial sense that life is miracle and magic.
- E. Merrill Root

Monday, May 3, 2010

And The Greatest Is Love...

I will make love my greatest weapon
and none on who I call can defend against its force.
My love will melt all hearts
liken to the sun whose rays soften the coldest day.
- Og Mandino

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Busses for Sale

$4,000 each or best offer.

Excellent maintenance records and CHP approved. Further questions, e-mail

Monday, April 26, 2010

I'm Back

After having computer trouble and finally purchasing a new one, I am finally back to visit my blog friends but, frankly, I am disgusted today. I just read Archie Comics is introducing a gay character. My kids have read Archie Comics for years and own hundreds of copies. They keep stacks in their restrooms. LOL Our journey with Archie Comics is now coming to an end. The gay agenda should not be forced upon children. I find this to be quite disturbing. The article giving this news can be found at:

I have already lodged my complaint at

Goodbye, Archie, Jughead, Betty and Veronica. It was nice meeting you.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Tax Day Tea Party-Bakersfield

Bryce with talk show host Inga Barks at the Tax Day Tea Party 2010 in Bakersfield. She is now working on a syndicated show.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Future California Secretary of State?

Today I sang at a Tax Day Tea Party (I'll post more pics later) and Damon Dunn, NFL star, was one of the speakers. Born in poverty, this man wants to fight for California's economy and restore our state. He is running for California Secretary of State 2010. You can meet him here:

Monday, April 12, 2010

Got Fish?

During Spring Break, Blake spent a few days with his Grandma and Grandpa. He and grandpa spent a couple days fishing and, when Bryn found out, she was begging for grandpa to take her fishing. So what do you think happened? LOL Of course, grandpa had the honor of taking Bryn on her first fishing trip. She caught the "biggest" fish and was so excited believing she was better at fishing than any of the guys. Ha!!! What great memories were made!!!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

College/Career Social Time

If you are college/career person, please feel free to attend this event in Stockton, California. This will be following the Friday evening service of the Western District Youth Convention.

Gravitas Gravitas Café
Date: Friday, April 9th
Place: CLC Student Center
9023 West Lane
Stockton, CA 95210
Time: 11pm-2am
Cost: $5
(purchase tickets in advance at the Gravitas booth and be entered to win an iPod or iTunes gift card)

Monday, April 5, 2010

Easter 2010

Three Easter eggs in a basket? LOL
That is my beautiful kids.
Blake & Bryn with their Easter baskets.
The newest member of our congregation. :)
Beautiful Clara in her first Easter dress.

Evangelist James Dunlap blessed us with his guitar playing, singing, and preaching.

It was a wonderful Easter. We had several presentations of music, a guest speaker, the grass had grown tall making the Easter egg hunt especially fun for the children, then a barbecue later in the afternoon with bounce houses for the kids. Brian grilled Halibut and Salmon. It was delicious! Hope you all had a wonderful day celebrating Jesus.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Some Things Can't Be Excused

Is his excuse good enough? I think not. Click on below link for article. This happened in our town and a girl from our church was in this class. In my opinion, this man needs to be under mental health care.......for a long time and kept away from mainstream society.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Living From Drama to Drama (~~roll eyes~~ LOL)

One friend put it to me this way, "If it wasn't for bad luck, you wouldn't have any luck at all." Well, it might seem that way but I would rather look at it this way - what the devil meant for bad the Lord made it good.

As you know, if you keep up with my blog, I recently had a miraculous healing after dealing with an issue for over a year. Looking back, I believe God gave me this healing at the time he did to increase our faith for another ordeal. In January, my husband went to the doctor for his annual physical. The doctor thought my husband's pulse in his right carotid artery was weak so he sent him for testing to determine if there was a blockage. The test came back perfect but revealed there was something on the thyroid. Further testing determined he had a large mass on the right lobe of his thyroid and he was immediately referred to a surgeon. The surgeon estimated the mass to be about the size of a golf ball and scheduled surgery to remove it and one underarm lymph node. (We had also discovered a lump under my husband's arm.) Of course, the dreaded "C" word was brought up but we put our trust in God. Last Tuesday, my husband was the first one wheeled into surgery and all went well. The doctor said the mass was larger than he anticipated but he believed it to be benign. This was confirmed today by the pathology report. My husband has had some intense pain but is now on the road to recovery and so grateful there was no malignancy found in the lymph node and mass on the thryoid.

To God be all glory forever!!!

Thursday, March 25, 2010


If I have ever made any valuable discoveries,
it has been owing more to patient attention
than to any other talent.
- Isaac Newton

Monday, March 22, 2010

Ya Think?

"The problem with socialism,
is that you eventually run out of other peoples' money"
- Margaret Thatcher
Ya think? Listen up, America!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

WDLC Snapshots

UPCI Ladies President, Gwyn Oakes
Recording Artist, Bobbie Shoemake
Day Speaker, Linda Elms of Lufkin, Texas
and her sister, Ronda Hurst, Western District Ladies Secretary
Western District Ladies President, Laquita Mullings
Myself (WDLC master coordinator) and
Evening Speaker, Cyvonne Davy of Tampa, Florida
Recording Artists, The Gordon Sisters of Denver, Colorado
Part of the crowd.
Podium decor by designer, Cindy Mullings
My favorite pic! This is three sisters, Ronda Hurst, Karla Holley, and Linda Elms. Our promotional director, Anita Harding, did a fabulous job using this photo to promote Mothers Memorial.