Teaching Good Things

Practical Skills for Real Life

Teaching Good Things - Practical Skills for Real Life

How to Make an Alabama Football Elephant Cake

Its fall and we live in Alabama. Everyone here eats, breaths and lives football, but not us).

This week I had an order for an Alabama football cake and some specialty cookies.  This one feeds about 40-50.


Dirty iced with buttercream.

Covered with 2 pieces of fondant.

I used foam poster board for the ears and covered them with fondant. They wedged nicely into the two rounds.

Added a tail with fondant.

Cut two holes for the eyes which allowed the white of the buttercream to show. Used black fondant for the eyeballs.


I used a small plastic deli container for the hat and covered with with some buttercream and fondant. Placed it on the head before it dries.

These were made for the same party! They are VERY time consuming…very!

how to make an elephant cake

This is another one I made a couple months ago.

Memorizing 1 Corinthians 13 – Let Love Abide (video)

There are 3 things I want my kids to know more than anything:

1. Who God is and what He really said.

Which is why we read and memorize Scripture. As we read, study and memorize the Holy Spirit will reveal more and more truth to us. You can’t really grow in truth if you only hear a sermon once a week. As we learn whole chapters at a time we are learning verses in context. This makes it easier when we do hear preaching or teaching on a verse to have discernment whether or not it is being taught in the context of all of God’s word, and it also gives us a deeper understanding for the groundwork already laid.

That being said, I will be honest with you. Our family does not do near as much reading and memorizing as we should, but we are consistent in moving forward little by little. Sometimes we get very busy with things such as weddings, grand-babies, a heavy work load or whatever, but the important thing is that we get back on track and move forward. It has taken us two years to learn three chapters of Scripture, the 10 Commandments and the Apostle’s Creed

We are a family of doers, only a couple of us are readers (read because we love it and can’t get enough). And while quantity is important, quality is even more important.  Most times while others are studying how to put their hand to the plow you’ll find us out behind the plow.  The world needs both kinds of people.

The point is, don’t set unrealistic standards for your family and then give up because you are discouraged. Don’t compare yourself to others.  If it takes you a three years to read through the Bible you’ve already done more than most people. If it takes a year to memorize one chapter you are WAY ahead of the majority.

2. They are loved and wanted by us and their Heavenly Father.

Everyone wants to be loved, and especially loved by their parents. If you know your parents love you and want you, then that sets a security in you that can not be shaken. A LOT of people do not have this security.

And if you are given a hard providence in life such as your parents rejecting you, as our three youngest have experienced, then it is even more important to know that your Heavenly Father loves you and desires fellowship with you. Once you have that security you can face anything!

3. How to serve others through love (even if it has to be tough love).

In our day of self-esteem and feel-good theology we need to know how God said we should live. We need to know HOW to love others, HOW to serve others, HOW to walk in the spirit and not in the flesh. If we are not denying ourselves and loving/serving others then we do not know the Gospel.

It took us about 8 months to learn this, but they have it now and all three of them know it from start to finish! We have had MANY great object lessons as we’ve worked to memorize this.

They also know Proverbs 3 and Romans 12. :)

Make Your Own Masterpiece with No Skills and Under $20

Make your own masterpiece
I want our home to reflect me and Jeff, not what a designer or a company that sells interiors says I should have on my walls and beds.  I would rather make something, if I can, than buy it such as curtains, quilts, artwork, doilies, etc…

Now I am no artist but I can snap a picture and play on the computer a bit. :)

I’ve been looking for something like this to hang in our dining area but didn’t want to spend the money.

Jeff had this old frame given to him. It was falling apart but I just love it so I knew that was the size of artwork I wanted.  He re-enforced it for me and I added a couple of coats of white paint that I had in the bottom a of wall and trim paint can. I didn’t do a great job on it because I wanted it to look distressed. :)

I decided I wanted a picture that reflected our home.  I love my crocheted table cloth that I use when we are having company or a special occasions.

I had this white pitcher I picked up from the thrift store a couple months ago for $3.

I had a few silk peonies (my favorite flower) in an arrangement in my bedroom so I took those out and put them in this pitcher and stuck in a few real roses.

I added a set of salt and pepper shakers I never use but love none the less to give it a bit of an old-world look.


I snapped a bunch of pictures as the afternoon light was shining in and then edited them in Picmonkey. I cloned out a lot of the background to make it darker, then played around with the lighting and color settings until it was how I wanted it. This does not take skill, it’s kind of like coloring, you just need a little practice. ;)


I saved it at full resolution, but because it was being enlarged so much it lost a lot of its clarity, which I think makes it look much more like an old painting.

I went to Wal Mart and had a 16×20 poster made with a mat finish, that was about $12. Picked up a small bottle of Mod Podge (mat finish) while I was there, that was about $3 (it doesn’t take much).

I already had a piece of foam board (kind of like poster board but ticker) at home so that didn’t cost me anything. You could use a thick piece of cardboard or even a piece of thin wood such as plywood. If you want the canvas look it doesn’t have to be a super smooth surface, just make sure there are no huge gaps in the grain.  Cut the board the same size as your photo/poster.

I used a 2″ paint brush to apply a thin coat of Mod Podge to the foam board (the Mod Podge will wash out of the brush when you are done).

I let it air dry for a minute so it would stick better. Then I laid the picture on top carefully, smoothed it out and then added a layer of Mod Podge to the top of the picture.

I did all the brush strokes in one direction (from side to side),  let it dry for 20 minutes and then added a second coat of Mod Podge brushing from top to bottom and then letting it dry for another 20 minutes.

The brush marks show a little when the light hits it just right which is what gives it a canvas look. You could use a paint roller if you don’t want brush marks.

There is no glass in the frame.

I used my hot glue gun to seal the picture in the frame.

Maybe next summer when the roses are in bloom I may try to re-do this and make it look a little  more like this color scheme!

Sevryukov Dmitry - 'White Roses'

I really want to use a picture of my grandmother’s farm for a nice piece of  canvas-looking artwork. That would be something special to hand down to the children one day… when I get time. :)

Good Things on the Web Weekly Review 9/6/14

 Good Things on the Web

Favorite quote of the week:

On family business:

“Coming together is a beginning;

keeping together is progress;

working together is success.”

                                   ~~Henry Ford

After our super busy week last week and our son getting married we enjoyed a pretty relaxing day Labor Day. We just hung around the house and grilled out.

The kids made their own fun!


I posted over at Raising Homemakers this week. Are your daughters looking for a way to serve? Do they want something “big” to do? Do they complain of being bored? Give them, and yourself, the kitchen to serve from. They can find their way from the oven into the home and heart of someone who is searching for answers, or maybe even someone just needing a little comfort and love.

Some Good Reads on the Web:

Raw Uncensored Thought of a Mother with 10 Children

Love this post from my best friend Kelly. Funny (sad) we never refuse the blessing of money, property, notoriety, comfort and health, but we tell God NO when it comes to children. Even we good reformed folks who boast in God’s sovereignty will say we know more than God when it comes to children.

6 Things on Sale in September

How to Make a Barn Out of a Carport

Delay Formal Math Until 10

Remember if you buy from Amazon, we GREATLY appreciate it if you’d use our link… it puts a little change in our pocket and helps keep this website running. THANK YOU!


Family Update – Announcements

It’s been a very busy couple weeks here for the Brodock family!  Our son was married in a private ceremony this weekend! We celebrated with a small reception at their home yesterday.

josh and jess 6



wedding cake orange flowers

One of the coolest things about being able to make cakes is being able to do cakes like this for people you love for very special occasions.


This weekend was also Jeff’s birthday and our 28th anniversary. We celebrated with a steak dinner at Emma’s house.  (No people pictures, we were too busy relaxing and enjoying ourselves. :) )

Spice Cake Run Icing

And I made Jeff his favorite spice cake with a Rum Cream Cheese icing.

Icing Recipe

  • 8 ozs cream cheese, soften
  • 2 tbsps butter
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup spiced rum

And the other BIG news…


I get to be a Nonnie again!!!

Javelin is going to celebrate her first birthday next February with a new baby brother or sister! Due date is 2 days from her birthday. We are over the top excited!






You may look at us and think it is all good … filled with so much happiness… and it is. But there are also many…MANY struggles, conflicts and heartaches along the way.

Yet, in the midst of pain there is much to be grateful for.

In the depths of struggle there is hope.

All of it the Lord uses to bring us closer to Him as He is faithful to purge away our selfishness, our pride… our hay and stubble.

I have to choose to learn through the struggles and find the beauty in it all.

In the words of my dear sweet friend:

“Family is pain, drama, fear, failure, abandonment, fracturing, roaring, and silence.

Family is healing, joy, hope, success, nurturing, binding, fullness, and love.

How are they both? Family is humanity. Humanity is sin and grace.”

                                                                                             –       Ana Smith


After one of the busiest summers we’ve ever had we are back on a  much welcomed school routine. While we never stop learning I enjoy the rhythm of structure.

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Canning for Gift Giving

The harvest has been plentiful this year which means we can get a lot of great produce at a reasonable price. This makes for a perfect time for canning a little extra to give as gifts this Christmas.

Canning for Gift Giving

They are also great to have on hand to give as a hostess gift, in a basket as part of a bridal shower gift or even to take as part of a care package for someone who is sick.

So whether canning or even baking up some goodies that freeze well, think about doing a little extra to give away or to have on hand when you need something in a hurry.

Any of these wrapped in a towel, or a ribbon, in a gift bag, or simply with a creative label will make a nice homemade gift.

A few things I’ve canned extra of are:

salsa recipe canning

Give alone with a ribbon around the jar or put in a gift bag and include a bag of chips. Recipe Here.

pepper jelly

Another one to give alone or with a package of crackers and cream cheese.

This is wonderful poured over a block of cream cheese and served with crackers for holiday parties. I’ve also used it over a roast in the crockpot. Although it is a jelly, it is not thick like most jellies. Recipe Here.

honeysuckle jelly

Jams and Jellies given alone, with crackers or bread are always easy to make and always loved! How-to video here.

make blackberry syrup

This year I made blackberry syrup.  These will be great to give with a large ziplock bag of homemade waffles.

food to the sick

Canning Jam in 30 Minutes

Learn Cake Decorating

Planning Your Pantry 

Basic Canning Supplies 

Grandma Brodock’s Sweet Pepper Relish

Canning Banana Peppers