Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Prayer for the evening

I really like the website Sacred Spaces...

....it's an Irish site that focuses on prayer as it's form of spiritual formation.

I know I've mentioned it before (at least on Facebook).

This is the prayer for this evening, which really hit home with me in several ways.

I remind myself that, as I sit here now,
God is gazing on me with love and holding me in being.
I pause for a moment and think of this.

I love this image - I imagine God looking at me, and holding me like a mother - or father - cradles a newborn. I can picture my friends Phil and Darcy who just had their precious baby. If their love for their daughter is only a fraction of what God feels for me, it's overwhelming. Powerful. Amazing Love.

If God were trying to tell me something, would I know?
If God were reassuring me or challenging me, would I notice?
I ask for the grace to be free of my own preoccupations
and open to what God may be saying to me.

Do I really hear what God wants me to know? Does the noise of the world crowd out any or all of the messages I need to hear? Can I shut out the noise and be open to what God wants to say to me?

I exist in a web of relationships - links to nature, people, God.
I trace out these links, giving thanks for the life that flows through them.
Some links are twisted or broken: I may feel regret, anger, disappointment.
I pray for the gift of acceptance and forgiveness.

I pray for friends and family members who are connected to me by a variety of links. May any broken or hurt chains be healed by God.

The Word of God
Matthew 13, 36-43

What can I learn from this passage about the existence of good and evil in my life?

How has God's Word moved me?
Has it left me cold? Has it consoled me or moved me to act in a new way?
I imagine Jesus standing or sitting beside me, I turn and share my feelings with him.

I wonder what it would be like, to sit at Starbucks and just talk to Jesus. I know I tell my students praying to Jesus is like talking to your BFF - he wants to know everything and anything about you.

Do I really believe this? If I do, how does this image change my life - and my prayer time? Why is it easier for me to talk to a person rather than Jesus? What lines of communication do I need to open up - or revisit?

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit,
As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end.


Source: http://www.sacredspace.ie/daily-prayer/2012-07-31
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Monday, July 30, 2012

You did what?

I'm still hearing from friends who wanted to see proof of my crazy VBS challenge....so.....drum roll please....

....When you work in children's ministry, you do random things.....


Color your hair orange - because they raise $1,000 for the VBS project.

And then sleep in a kool-aid mixture (with conditioner) because the dye only gives you 'red' highlights.... (for the record, that only gave me deeper orange/red highlights..... it took finding orange hair spray one town over, to show the kids true orange hair - like they expected for the closing program.)

You also agree to eat anchovies on the stage..... because the kids continue to raise more $ for the Arkansas Rice Depot..... almost $2,100 total by the final count....

...and because of a great volunteer - the anchovies are turned into a "smoothy" for dramatic effect......

(I'm not sure mixing it with other ingredients helped.......lol...)

(A re-do of the moment snapped by one of my tweens....her first pic didn't turn out, and she asked me to do it again.... not a very flattering pic lol)

But ultimately, the true winners for the week.......

were the 250 kids we helped feed for a full weekend - through the Arkansas Rice Depot's Food For Kids program.....

And the people who will benefit (mainly students) from the 1,000+ pounds of food we collected ....

And through it all, the crazy VBS challenge means.....
--Kids learned to serve other kids and
--Kids learned that adults keep their word (even when it makes them look silly).

Which makes any embarrassing pictures of me floating around cyber space with orange hair worth it.

Besides.... Orange definitely looks better than what I did last year - blue - and the kids are still talking about that, a year later.

So I guess it was worth it again.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 27, 2012

Blog Tour: The Scent of Rain (Review)

What happens if you are a "professional nose" and you lose your sense of smell?

In her newest release, Kristin Billerbeck tackles that very question, as she crafts a story around Daphne Sweeten - a professional perfume creator, who loses her sense of smell on the day she is left jilted at the altar.

A loss of marriage, beloved job, a city she adores, and even her sense of smell.

Daphne is facing a lot of loss and disappointment.

She also finds herself working with Jesse (her new boss) to create household products for Gibraltar Products.

While she wants to succeed in her new job, she really wants to fix her nose and return to Paris.

In the end though, Daphne finds God (and love) in an unexpected way - and discovers a "promise of what's possible is as fresh as the scent of rain."

In The Scent of Rain, Billerbeck has created an interesting tale. I'll admit, it's a fun read, but not a light read.

I picked it up as a diversion during a busy week.I'll be honest. It took a bit of brain power to read this novel - in fact, I found myself re-reading the dialogue in order to pick up the nuances Billerbeck weaves through out the book.

It was good. More than mind candy, it's a novel that you can sink your teeth into. Think of it as a really nice appetizer - that will make you hungry for more of Billerbeck's work.

On a scale of one to five, I give it a respectful three. It's one of the first books I've read by Billerbeck (with the exception of the young adult Daisy Crispin novels). I find her humorous and creative. I think you'll find it a fun, light read - with depth. She's not my favorite author, but I'll definitely give her a second look!

More About The Author
Kristin Billerbeck is the bestselling, award-winning author of several novels, including What a Girl Wants and Perfectly Dateless.

A Christy Award finalist and two-time winner of the American Christian Fiction Writers Book of the Year, Billerbeck has appeared on The Today Show and has been featured in the New York Times. She lives with her family in northern California. You can read more about her at: http://www.kristinbillerbeck.com/

Online Resources
Read more about it here:
Check out her website: http://kristinbillerbeck.com/
Follow her on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Kristin-Billerbeck/62048296624

Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by BookSneeze's blogger program. This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Another Pinterest Experiment - JELL-O Cookies

Ah Pinterest.

I have a love, hate relationship with Pinterest. Some days, it makes me feel quite inadequate.

Other days, it gives me something to try - and complete from start to finish.

My latest experiment - JELL-O Cookies left me with mixed reviews, but we had a lot of fun making them!

Basically it's a sugar cookies with a twist - JELL-O powder mixed in as the secret ingredient. It was fun to try the different flavors - Fruit Punch, Cherry Lemonade, Lime and Cherry were the choice ingredients for this batch (Grape and Orange were waiting in the wings, but will have to wait for round two.)

The remaining ingredients are simple.

Start with 1 cup of sugar and 1-1/2 cups (3 sticks) of softened, salted butter.

Cream the butter and sugar together until smooth. (My grandma could do this step perfectly - I suspect she had more patience than her granddaughter.)

Then add the egg and vanilla. (I love pure vanilla!)

Another grandma tried and true thing - always crack the egg in a separate container. (I suspect it was because we grew up using farm-fresh eggs, but it also helps keep shell pieces out of your final product.)

Mix your flour and baking powder into a bowl. (Grandma would often sift the mixture for extra fluffiness.)

Add the flour mixture slowly - so it blends in well.

Divide the dough into four equal balls.

Add the desired JELL-O flavor to your dough. (FYI - It takes 2 Tbsp., per part, or 8 Tbsp. of JELL-O total. You could make all of the cookies the same flavor - just buy at least two to three boxes of your desired JELL-O.)

Mix until blended. Your hands will get stained, and you'll smell like JELL-O during this step, but at least it's fun!

Make your cookie balls, and roll in the left over JELL-O powder (this was the fruit punch JELL-O).

Put on the cookie sheet - at least two inches apart (these were still being moved around, for the picture). Press down with either a bowl - or in my case, I still have the juice glass that grandma used to press cookies (I love the design that bakes in!)

Bake for 8 to 10 minutes at 350 degrees. I tend to bake closer to the 8 minutes, so they are chewy cookies. - FYI, we learned that baking stones and cookie sheets bake differently, so choose wisely!

Put on a baking rack to cool. The recipe said makes approx.two dozen cookies. My cookie scoop must be smaller than the suggested size, because it made at least three and a half dozen cookies. At least they were uniform!

Will I make them again - probably. I'm already thinking of another cookie recipe - Cake Mix Cookies - and wondering if I can use a white cake mix, and add in JELL-O for flavor and coloring.

Other than the cherry cookies, the coloring wasn't as vibrant as I expected it to be. I suspect this is why the original recipe suggested adding food coloring to "ramp" up the colors.

Cherry is a strong flavor. Fruit punch was a bit bland. But Lime and Cherry Lemonade was good!

The youth I made them for seemed to like them - so all in all, it's a three out of five recipe!


The Full Recipe!
JELL-O Cookies
Approx. 2 dozen, Prep: 20 mins, Cook: 10 mins, Ready In: 30 mins
3-1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1-1/2 cups salted butter, softened
1 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
4 (3 oz) pkg. JELL-O You can use any flavors you want

Beat butter in large bowl with mixer until creamy. Add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Blend in egg and vanilla.

Mix flour and baking powder in a separate bowl. Gradually beat in flour mixture.

Divide dough into four sections. Sprinkle 2 Tbsp of JELL-O onto each section. Knead together with dough. You may want to add a few drops of food coloring to make the dough more vibrant.

Shape dough into 1-inch balls. Roll in the extra JELL-O from the packets. Place, two inches apart, on baking sheets. Flatten with bottom of bowl.

Bake 8 to 10 min at 350 on lined baking sheets. Cool on baking sheets 2 min. Remove to wire racks and cool completely.

Source: The Pin & The Original Blog
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Blog Tour: Almost Amish (Review)

We live in a crazy, non-stop world - full of tweets, emails, texts and well tons of noise.

Is it any wonder that many people find the simplistic aspects of the Amish lifestyle attractive?

Nancy Sleeth takes pieces of that lifestyle and relates it to the "real world," pulling out aspects that Christians can learn from those principles.

Sleeth's topics include technology, service and community - and explores ways people can recapture the art of simplicity through each idea.

Sleeth also focuses on how people can limit - and even reduce dramatically - their use of technology. Her ministry, Blessed Earth, discusses how people can reduce their impact on the world (and reduce their carbon footprint.)

In all, Sleeth's book focuses on how we can turn away from the distractions of life and instead focus on faith, family and the simple things.

I enjoyed this book. After a hectic summer - full of ministry experiences - I can understand why Sleeth focused on the simple, yet fulfilling things we can learn from the Amish.

Am I ready to  turn off technology and become Amish - probably not (I really like my iPhone and iPad). But I can see why we need to stop, unplug and rest at times - so we can tun out the noise of the world, and instead tune into God.

On the scale of one to five, I give this book a solid three. I liked Sleeth's narrative style (a mix of "how to" and spiritual memoir). I also liked that it didn't make me feel like I would be a failure if I didn't immediately try all of her ideas.

Reading this book may not make you become Amish, but it may give you something to think about - and challenge a few of your Americanized ideas of life.

About The Author
Nancy Sleeth and her husband, Matthew, are cofounders of Blessed Earth, a faith-based environmental nonprofit. After an environmental and spiritual conversion experience, Sleeth and her family radically altered their footprint, giving away half their possessions and reducing their energy use by more than two-thirds.

Prior to heeding this environmental calling, Sleeth served as communications director for a Fortune 500 company and as an educator and administrator, most recently at Asbury University. She is a graduate of Georgetown University and holds a master's degree in journalism.

The Sleeths are the parents of Clark, a medical resident preparing for missionary work, and Emma, the author of It's Easy Being Green (Zondervan), which is a call to teens to live sustainable lifestyles. The Sleeths live in Lexington, Kentucky.

Online Resources
Read an excerpt: online
Visit her website: http://nancysleeth.com/
Check out her ministry: http://www.blessedearth.org
Download a study guide for Almost Amish

As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of this book by Tyndale House Books . This review was not influenced by a free book - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail. The fact that I am a graduate of Asbury Seminary (Sleeth taught at Asbury University - across the street) and my assumption that we probably know people in common (Wilmore is a small town) also did not influence my review.)

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Being Elmo (a review)

Looking for something to inspire you this weekend?

Why not check out "Being Elmo" the story about the man behind the puppet - Kevin Clash.

This documentary tells how Clash got his start into the magic of puppetry and the adults in his life who encouraged him.

I love how he told about watching puppet shows on TV (Captain Kangaroo, the Muppets and more) to figure out how the puppets were constructed, and how the puppeteers made everything work.

Clash related how he made his first puppet out of the lining of his father's trench coat. His dad loved it - but told him to ask permission first before making more.

It's amazing to think about a guy in high school making puppets - and pursuing his dream - even when classmates ridiculed him (well, until he ended up being cast on a local television show).

This documentary is inspiring. It's amazing how everything fell into place for Clash, party through the efforts of this supportive adults. No, life wasn't perfect - and he made sacrifices (good and bad) along the way to pursue his dream.

Two scenes jumped out, as I viewed the documentary.

The first one showcased a young Clash meeting legendary puppet designer Kermit Love - and being shown around Love's studio - and how Love introduced to Jim Henson.

The second shows Clash, now a Sesame Street’s Senior Puppet Coordinator and Muppet Captain as well as Sesame Workshop’s Senior Creative Consultant, calling and meeting with a young inspiring puppeteer.

It's almost as if Clash is paying forward, the generosity shown him as a student. I found it awesome that he not only remembers his roots, but he also helps spread his knowledge and passion to a new generation.

I've had this documentary in my Netflix queue for quite a whole. A lazy Saturday gave me an excuse to watch it. It made my morning.

On the scale of one to five, I give this a HUGE five.

I think it would be great to show students (in part) to talk about chasing dreams and finding the support needed to succeed.

It's definitely worth investing some time into watching this documentary.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 13, 2012

A random Friday the 13th

How did you spend your Friday the 13th?

I spent mine with some 
very patient tweens and parents, 
as we did our first "surprise" night, 
eating supper at Bumpy's
a local, Tex-Mex restaurant in Little Rock.

Due to things beyond their control, 
we ended up waiting approx. an hour
for our seats to open up.

We had a reservation, 
but a table top who had been there
for more than two hours
were slow to leave.

After 30 minutes, we probably 
should have gone somewhere else, 
but we kept thinking, maybe they will leave.

The restaurant brought us water, and let the kids
get ice cream cones (the after dinner treat)
as a pre-meal teaser.

We also ordered our meals/food
before we even got our table
so as soon as we sat down, 
the food started to arrive.

I've never been more proud of my tweens.

We had people coming up to us
at the restaurant
AMAZED at how 
well behaved 
they were.

One lady joked 
"did you drug them before you came?"

Nope, we just told them the name of the church
is on the side of the mini-bus
parked outside of the building.

They listened.

And for that, I'm grateful. 
I'm also grateful for the 
adults who braved the idea 
(originally we were going to go to 
three different restaurants -
 a funky progressive meal)
and rolled with the revised 
plan before we even started.

- duh it's Friday the 13 -
 maybe we should stick with one restaurant.

I think next time, I'll do this using 
"fast food" restaurants.

But if I want to have supper 
with friends (small group best)
Bumpy's will be the place to go!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Getting ready for VBS

 In honor of the first story of next week's VBS, here's a cartoon featuring Noah.

Because Noah learned to Depend Upon God.....It's a lesson I'm remember a lot for myself, as I prepare for a VBS with more than 400 kids.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A few recent pics of the day

A bunny attacks my office. Never know what #stjameskidz will find in my office.
Made my day. Was giving Yancy, the kidz min, painter hard time about his skittles. Came back after running like crazy today for fiesta and found this on my door. He shared!! It's the little things in life.
Sometimes you just need a treat after a long week.
You know u r in children's ministry when your suitcase looks like this for the mission trip. #stjameskidz
The Rep with Amy Forbus. Thanks to a gift of a St. James friend.
Hanging out with the St. James kidz at Destination: Pine Bluff.
TRYING to transfer my voter registration. Pulaski county customer service STINKS. But I will persevere.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

You know you are a Methodist geek when ...

You purchase two John Wesley "bobble heads."

The first was sold by Cokesbury during annual conference. I purchased after seeing pics on Instagram. (I was at camp following the conference on twitter and Facebook at night.) Totally worth the $23. (it's nice when you are friends with the bookstore manager on Facebook.

The other is an app. Yes, I also found it after a friend joked about it on twitter. Ah, the power of social media.

I Love the app Especially when it talks back to you when you move Wesley's head. I love the quotes it spouts off. Yes at least one review in the app store was negative, but that didn't stop me for two reasons.

When my students saw both, they thought it was for George Washington. So I had an unexpected teaching moment as I told the,about Wesley.

The other reason? Both simply make me laugh.

Honestly, the app developers did have a side motive. They wanted a way to highlight four adults who impacted the Nazarene Church. It worked. I learn about their efforts for the church (and even watched the history lesson video).

Are these for everyone? Probably not.

But if you are a Methodist geek, with a sense of humor, check them out.

To find it in the app store, search for NazHeads.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Blog Tour: Meet Tessa Afshar (Reviews)

It's always fun to run across a new author. To borrow a sports analogy, sometimes, you just have to take a chance that an unknown author will "hit it out of the park" and provide you with something you can't stop reading.

I'm so thankful that I took a chance on Tessa Afshar.

Earlier this summer, a free download on Amazon.com introduced me to Pearl in the Sand - a story based on the untold story of Rahab.

In her debut novel, Afshar dives into the story of Rahab, the Canaanite harlot who eventually became the wife for one of the leaders of Israel.

Through a story of redemption, faith and love, Afshar explores how Rahab finds redemption through her faith and ultimately because of her marriage to Salmone, becomes part of the genealogy of Christ.

I enjoyed the first novel so much that it led me to seek out her newest release,  Harvest of Rubies.

That novel, set during the time of the prophet Nehemiah, focuses on his cousin - who becomes the queen's favorite scribe (even while having a skewed view of her self-worth.)

Unfortunately, Sarah's view of her self ultimately threatens her future happiness - including her relationship with her husband.

Afshar is an amazing storyteller. Her first book made me really dive into an "old" Bible story in a new way. Her second, well, it really makes you take a second look at where a person finds value.

In all, I'm thrilled to have discovered a new author. I highly recommend her work - and will probably put them on my "re-read" list.

On the scale of one to five, I give her books a solid four. They are enjoyable and easy to read - but will definitely leave you thinking. All in all, a great showing for a new-to-me author!

More About The Author
TESSA AFSHAR was voted "New Author of the Year" by the Family Fiction sponsored Reader's Choice Award 2011 for her novel Pearl in the Sand.

She was born in Iran, and lived there for the first fourteen years of her life.  She moved to England where she survived boarding school for girls and fell in love with Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte, before moving to the United States permanently.

Her conversion to Christianity in her twenties changed the course of her life forever. Tessa holds an MDiv from Yale University where she served as co-chair of the Evangelical Fellowship at the Divinity School.  She has spent the last thirteen years in full-time Christian work.

Online Resources
Follow Afshar on Facebook
Follow her blog
Read an interview with Afshar here. 
Check out her website: http://www.tessaafshar.com/

Pearl In the Sand

Download chapter 1
Download chapter 2 
Buy it at Amazon

Harvest of Rubies

Download the first two chapters
Buy it at Amazon
Note: As a freelance journalist, I was provided a copy of Harvest of Rubies by it's publisher, through the Net Galley's blogger program. I received Pearl in the Sand as a free Kindle download at Amazon.com This review was not influenced by the free books - just in case you (or the FTC) were worried about this detail.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Never Give Up

As we get ready for the Olympic games, here's a video I recently ran across. It reminds us all to never, ever give up.

I also ran across an article by Linsey Corbin - an uber cool triathlete (who is the daughter-in-law of a friend) with a pep talk she gave herself before two triathlons this summer.

(You can see the full article here.)

Linsey wrote
Which brings me to all-in. 
Both races, as I walked down to the water I gave myself a pep talk. It went something like this:

Me - Are you ready for this?

My head - I am not so sure. It’s windy, hot/cold, it’s going to be a doozy today. I am going to have to really earn my bacon! What if I get blown off my bike? Am I ready for this?

Me - Of course you are ready for this. You don’t do anything half-ass. Let’s go all-in. Cash in your chips. Be committed. You’ve trained your hiney off the past 6 weeks. Why only commit part way?

My head - It will be easy to back off, these conditions aren’t favorable. Think of the laundry list of excuses you’ll have for your friends on Monday.

Me - Anyone can race on the easy day. Champions rise in adverse conditions. Be a warrior and let’s go all-in.

My head - OK. I’m all-in! When that gun goes, I am racing. 100%. No excuses.

Me - All-in! 

So, I guess the moral of the story - never give up, and go ALL IN!
Maybe we can all learn from athletes - especially as we watch the Olympics.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

How did I live without this?

File this under "How did I live without these?"

When a white cami turned grey in the wash, a friend told me about the color catchers.

I bought a box just to check them out.

I've tossed one in with loads I care about.

Obviously they work. Since these started out white and definitely came out different colors.

I may make my own laundry soap, but I'll definitely keep purchasing and using them!!

Just a random post to share my new found knowledge. Lol.
Happy laundry!!!

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

Friday, July 6, 2012

I'm Farming & I Know It......

This video, posted in late June, made me smile today - as it started popping up on my Facebook feed (and NPR).

Created by Kansas State Univeristy student Greg Peterson, and his siblings, Nathan, 18, Kendal, 15, and Laura, 11, the film is a parody of LMFAO's song "Sexy and I Know It".

According to the New York Post, the video "I'm Farming and I Grow It" has become an Internet sensation with more than 3.2 million views since it was posted June 25 on YouTube.

The Peterson's have even been hailed by farming groups for producing a video that helps remind people where their food truly comes from.

As a farm girl, who grew up on dairy farms in Kansas and Missouri, I LOVE this video.

It shows creativity, originality and humor. Kudos to them!

I bet we see more from Peterson.

In fact, according to the New York Post, the brothers have posted more videos on YouTube, and Peterson said they'll make more. He told reporters that he keeps his iPod Touch with him as he farms, occasionally pulling it out and filming things.

You can see more videos from them here; http://www.youtube.com/user/ThePetersonFarmBros

In fact, if you want to see some outtakes..... watch this video....

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/watch_kansas_student_makes_farm_abZOmy0UEzW8R5KM2m3CXP#ixzz1zt76Ug9v

Thursday, July 5, 2012

DIY Flower lollipops

Earlier this spring, I found a post on Catholic Icing, 
that used Jolly Ranchers to make your own cross 
(or flower) lollipops. You can see her original post here.

For an Easter treat, a friend and I tried making the cross lollipops.
 They were such a success, 'I wanted to try making the flowers. 
Which while they weren't perfect, 
the kids I gave them to, loved them.

So here's the supply list.

(Everything was available for purchase today at Walmart.)

Regular Jolly Rancher Candy
The bag I purchased had green apple, 
blue raspberry, cheery, watermelon and grape.

Life Savers (Not pictured)
I used the "smoothy" kind, but I think the "regular" 
life savers would be just fine. 
(The ones I used took a wee bit more time to melt.)

Lollipop Sticks
Walmart sold them in packs of 25. 
You can also use wooden kitchen skewers.

Aluminum Foil
You'll use this to line the baking pan.

Cheap Sandwich Bags
Get the kind that "fold" close. - No ziplock closings.

I bought purple, so it would be a "color" of the season.

A Cookie Sheet (or two)
The bigger the sheet, the more you can do at once. 
The sheet we used comfortably made at least 
four flowers at a time - they need room to spread out.

1) Preheat the oven to 225 degrees &
 line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.
Make sure it's "shiny" side up.

2) Sort your Jolly Ranchers by color. 
You'll need five candies per lollipop for the flower petals. 
You'll also need one Life Saver for each "center" (not shown.).

3) Unwrap your candies. Put the "middle" of your flower on the cookie sheet. Make sure you space them out enough so that you can build the rest of the flower AND leave room for the stick. Note - since all are melting together at the same time, you can just put everything on the cookie sheet at the same time. However, because my Life Savers were the "smoothy" kind, I put them in the oven for approximately one minute - before attaching the petals. (This gets them "melty and sticky" so the rest of the pieces stick to it in the remaining steps.)

4) Remove your pan from the oven (this is probably not a "kid friendly" step). Arrange the stick around the middle of your flower. Like with the crosses, I kind of "pushed" them into the sticky middle, to make sure everything "blended" well.

Note that the Jolly Ranchers melt in "random" ways, so the petals aren't perfectly symmetrical, but they do make creative shapes. Also: It really works better if you have everything unwrapped BEFORE you start the melting process. You have a bit of time to "squish" them together, but it worked best if I had everything ready for when the middles came out of the oven.

5) Allow the candy to cool. When it's hard, you'll be able to lift it off the foil with ease.

6) Use the sandwich bags to "wrap" the candies. 
Tie it closed with ribbon. I used purple, 
because it is a color represented in Lent/Easter.

Want to see my first post - the DIY Cross Lollipops?
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