Dark Glass Ponderings

For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. -1 Corinthians 13:12

OK, no "Charleston" at this party!  This gal and her hubby are too shy for public dancing!

But what's a party without proper dress? 

I love the gowns in Young Victoria.  This is a must-see movie, if only for costume alone. 

Anyhow...back to the prizes.  Click here for a listing of the 33 books to be given away in 3 boxes and tell me about your top
 books of the year for an extra entry.


OK, here we go:

(1) This contest is for FOLLOWERS. 

+2 If you are a long-time follower (more than 1 month)

(2) I would also like to celebrate some of my blog buddies. 

+1 If you are or become a follower of The Writers Alley (a great group of fellow writers)

+1 If you are or become a follower of Operation Encourage An Author, the ministry of my writing friend & encourager, Casey

+1 If you are or become a follower of Amber at Seasons of Humility, whose spirit and devotions have blessed me.

+1 If you subscribe to or become a follower of Margaret at Creative Madness Mama.  FIRST was the first "place" I began writing book reviews.  And a passion was developed!

+1 If you are or become a follower of Renee Ann.  I haven't known her very long, but I am awed by the way she goes out of the way for bloggers.

+1 If you are or become a follower of Joy, whom I was overjoyed to meet in person recently.

+1 If you are or become a follower of Bluerose who has a heart for others and a beautiful blog.

+1 If you are or become a follower of Steeler Girl Renee, the first Christian fiction blog I found which helped grow the idea of blogging.

I sure hope I haven't forgotten someone, but I wanted to highlight these particular followers.  All are long-time followers who I've felt particularly blessed to have known online.

(3) Just for fun:

+3 For sharing a favorite holiday or party recipe.

+1 for spreading the word in some way

(4) Please include your email in this format:


You can earn a total of 15 points!!

This contest will close on December 16th!


HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! Thank you again for your amazing generosity, Julia! You are so sweet to mention me and my blog--I am touched by your kind words, and I thank you for all the ways you have blessed me! Your friendship is such a gift. :)

OK, here are my entries thus far:

+2 Long-time follower

+1 Follower of The Writers Alley

+1 Follower of Operation: Encourage an Author

+1 Follower of Doorkeeper

+1 Follower of Edgy Inspirational Romance

+1 Follower of Bluerose's Heart

+1 Follower of Black 'n Gold Girl's Bookspot

For a grand total of 8 entries! :D

You are so sweet to spread the love to all these blogs, including mine--thank you! :D

Have a wonderful day!



Oh, I wanted to add that I loved the costumes in The Young Victoria, as well! So beautiful, and such a sweet movie! :D

And is it OK if I dance a little? I'm not the best at Charleston, but I love swing! You should join me--it's lots of fun! No need to be shy around us! ;)


Julia! What a fantastic idea. Thanks for including me. And next time I want to add extra entries on a contest, I think I'm going to take your idea. I love the thought of spreading the love around. :)

(LOL at Amber's comment above, I'm dancing with ya', friend).

Okay, here are my entries:

+2 Long time follower.
+7 for following The Writers Alley, OEA, Seasons of Humility, Creative Madness Momma, Doorkeeper, Bluerose, and Steeler Girl (how cool that all those blogs were already in my reader?)

+3 Favorite recipe (who am I kidding? More like *only* recipe...dh does the cooking here.) But at Christmas and Thanksgiving I make the dinner rolls. And I use this recipe from Allrecipes.com:

http://allrecipes.com/Recipe/Sweet-Dinner-Rolls/Detail.aspx -I just add one teaspoon on vanilla.

+1 I'm gonna tweet this for you.

+1 I listed my fav. books yesterday.

The email I post in public for contests is Joy G Lee G@ aol. com (but you have my real email).

Total: 14 entries.

Happy Birthday, Julia!

I haven't seen Young Victoria yet. I'll have to slide it into my Netflix queue. And thank you for mentioning me! I appreciate your encouragement and love popping in at your blog or reading your comments elsewhere. No matter how many folks we have in our lives, it's always a happy feeling to connect with someone because you love the same Lord and many of the same people (authors) and things here on earth!

I joined Operation Encourage an Author and Bluerose, so now I'm a follower of all the blogs you mentioned. Yay!

And here's a recipe I've shared at Amber's blog, but it's worth repeating. Your kids would love these:

Rolo Cookies
2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
3/4 cup cocoa
1 cup butter, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup light brown sugar
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Bag of Rolo candies, unwrapped
Sugar (for rolling the cookie dough balls in)

Preheat oven to 375. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Set aside. In a medium blow, sift flour, baking soda, salt, and cocoa. Set aside. With a mixer, cream butter and sugars together until smooth. Add in eggs, one at a time. Next, add in vanilla extract. Mix until blended. Slowly add flour mixture to sugar mixture and blend well. Take a spoonful of chocolate cookie dough and wrap around one Rolo candy. Make sure Rolo is completely covered with cookie dough. Roll dough ball in sugar and place on prepared baking sheet. Continue until you run out of cookie dough. Bake cookies for 7-10 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit on cookie sheet for 3-5 minutes. Move to a cooling rack and cool completely.

Blessings! reneeasmith61 [at] yahoo [dot] com

I'm a new follower of yours, and I just joined (+8)all the blogs you suggested.:) I posted my top 5 favorite reads yesterday (+1).

Thanks for a great contest. And happy birthday!


Oh wow, thank you for sending people OEA's way!! I appreciate it. :) I have a full day with subbing this afternoon, so I'm just going to say what I follow and scoot. Something about goals here... :)

+2 long time follower

+1 follower on the Alley ;)

+1 Amber's follower

+1 I subscribe to Renee Ann's blog, is that okay? Don't worry if it isn't.

+1 Joy's follower

+1 Follower of Bluerose

+1 Steeler Girl follower

+3 My recipe can be found here where I left it as a comment on Amber's blog:http://seasonsofhumility.blogspot.com/2010/12/love-finds-you-at-christmastime.html

+1 posted this post on Facebook

That's 12 I think. :) Thanks Julia and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!


Happy Birthday! :-D I just became a follower of your blog - does that qualify? Just checkin!

My top 5 books - Tahn, L.A. Kelly; The Heavens Before, Kacy Barnett-Gramckow; Across Time, Across Tears, Sheridan Claude; Skin, Ted Dekker; and Monster, Frank Peretti! :-D

I am a follower of TWA(+1)

I am a follower of OEA (+1)

I am a follower of SoH(+1)

I am a follower of Renee Anns(+1)

I am a follower of Bluerose(+1)

Thanks for the chance - Katy

Thank you so much for mentioning my blog!! You're so sweet!! :)

I follow all the blogs you have listed. I just started following Doorkeeper last week, I think, but I didn't realize it was Renee Ann's blog. I've been seeing her around lately. :)

I hope it's okay that I'm using the same recipe I used at Amber's blog. I'm going to show my disorganization by saying I have lost my recipes. They're all hanging out somewhere 2gether, though. I wanted to use my Apple Dumplings recipe, but I can never find my exact recipe on the web. The same with pizza casserole and it's been waiting to show up on our menu!

Peanut Butter Balls

1 stick butter(melted)
1 bag of powdered sugar(I think this is 16 oz)its just the normal size bag, though.
1 cup peanut butter

Mix all this together and roll into balls. Put in the freezer for a few minutes.

Melt a package of Almond Bark with the double boiler method.(I've never tried it with the microwave).

Remove pb balls from freezer and dip into the chocolate.
One of my favorites!!!

And I blogged about your giveaways.

Hi Julia! This is such an awesome party just in time for Christmas. Thank you!!! I too love the costumes in TYV, I just love the styles of that era. Have you seen pics from the upcoming masterpiece classic show, Downton Abbey? There are some AWESOME costumes in that show too. http://enchantedserenityperiodfilms.blogspot.com/2010/09/period-fashion-of-edwardian-era-downton.html Well I better quit now or I could go on and on about 19th/20th centurey fashion LOL!

Ok here goes:
+2 looong time friend/follower ;-)
+1 Writer's Alley follower
+1 Follower of OEaA
+1 Follower of Seasons of Humility
+1 Follower of CMM
+1 Follower of the other Renee Ann ;-)
+1 Follower of Joy
+1 Follower of BlueRose

+3 Recipe. I hope it counts that I'm sharing a recipe that I've never tried before but I'm going to try to make this year, Chex Muddy Buddies!
9 c. Rice Chex
1 c. semisweet chocolate chips
1/2 c. peanut butter
1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 c. powdered sugar

1. Into large bowl measure cereal and set aside.

2. in 1 qt. microwavable bowl microwave chocolate chips peanut butter and butter uncovered on High 1 minute; stir. Microwave about 30 seconds longer or until mixture can be stirred smooth. Stir in vanilla. Pour mixture over cereal, stirring until evenly coated. Pour into 2-gallon resealable food-storage plastic bag.

3. Add powdered sugar. Seal bag; shake until well coated. Spread on waxed paper to cool. Store in airtight container in refrigerator.

18 servings (1/2 c. each)

XOXO~ Renee


Oh my goodness--I am so excited about Downton Abbey!!! :D Loved the PBS Masterpiece Classics season this last year, and I'm really looking forward to the line-up this winter/spring!


I was hoping to think of a way to include some of my blogging buddies, although there's always the danger of missing someone :) I'm very glad I met you online.

I would love to watch swing dancing. The 40s are such a fun era. I'll stand by the punch bowl and enjoy :)

I thought about that and wondered if we all have a lot of the same followers...and it was hard to pick out blogs :) That dinner roll recipe sounds good.

How do you find that stuff, Renee? Looks like a great series! Have you ever watched Lark Rise to Candleford? It's available on Netflix . . .


I feel badly. I totally forgot that you had asked for holiday recipes at your blog. In fact, I think I contributed. I hope you don't mind.

Renee Ann,
Thanks for the recipe. It was hard to not mention 20 blogs, but I didn't want to make it ridiculous.

I think you would like Young Victoria! I think we all talked about this movie at Laura's blog. I miss it already :)

Ann Lee,
Thanks for joining and I think you'll enjoy those blogs. I'm a bit biased but they are some of my favorite online peeps.

Yes, goals...er, goals. I still need to reply to your email. I apologize. I feel like I'm getting so behind on things lately.

Yup, subscribing counts, too. I just wanted to get these blogs on people's radar.


Yes you can enter ;) You mentioned some authors I haven't heard of...I'll have to check them out.

I've definitely seen you around the blogosphere. Casey & Amber's blogs, maybe.

I just watched Young Victoria this past weekend...really enjoyed it and the costumes were gorgeous.

+1 The Writers Alley
+1 Seasons of Humility
+1 Creative Madness Mama
+1 Bluerose
+1 Steeler Girl
+3 favorite holiday recipe

So that's a total of +8

Here's one of my favorite holiday recipes. It's supper easy and very yummy.

1 bag of milk chocolate chips
1 bag of peanut butter chips
3-4 cans of shoestring potatoes

Melt the chips in microwave. Once your chips are melted add the shoestring potatoes. Mix. Then drop spoonfuls on wax paper. Let harden and enjoy.

I like to keep mine is the fridge but that's just me.

Happy Birthday!!

sundaisy920 at gmail dot com


Absolutely. Your PB balls sound so good.

I know I didn't know Renee Ann until a short time ago...but she is popping up everywhere and she has some great blogging ideas :)

Thank you for blogging :)

Awesome giveaway

I am a Followe

I follow The Writer Alley

I follow Operation Encourage an Author

I Follow Seasons of Humility

I follow Creative Madness Mama

I follow Renee Ann

I follow Joy

I follow Bluerose

I follow Steeler Girl Renee

We have this dip every Christmas Eve...it is mandatory!

Shrimp Dip

1 8oz Pkg Cream Cheese
1 Can small shrimp….rinsed and drained

Combine in a food processor, add
1 Cup Chili Sauce
1T lemon Juice
5 drops Tabasco Sauce.

Combine until smooth. Chill…Serve with Chips

Posted this giveaway on my Facebook Profile...http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1124305054


Oh my goodness, Maggie Smith and beautiful dresses! I can't wait! You always seem to be the first to know about these period flicks :)

Afterwards I laughed about the fact that I put "long-time follower." My blog has only been around since March :) But come to think of it I think you were one of my first followers that I didn't know IRL.

I think you'll love Muddy Buddies. My mom used to make these every year. Chocolate and PB, what's not to love. :)

Your cat is adorable and your recipe does sound easy and good. I've never heard of mixing chocolate with potatoes, but sounds oddly appealing :)


Thanks, I love shrimp dip. Sounds wonderful :)

LOL if you love period films I definitely suggest following Enchanted Serenity because that's where I find all of my info on upcoming movies. It's a great site for that plus she posts neat things about different films like the pics on the link in my other comment.

BTW thank you for posting a link to my blog and helping me find new friends. I got one new one so far today! :-)

XOXO~ Renee

@ Renee Ann I've seen Larkrise and I LOVE it! I haven't seen season 3 yet but hopefully I'll get the chance sooner rather than later.

XOXO~ Renee


Of course I don't mind! The more food-talk, the better, in my opinion! ;)

And besides--it's your birthday!!! :D



Wishing you a very Happy Birthday!
Wow! What an awesome giveaway. I'm a longtime follower on a few of the blogs listed, just usually lurk & read ;) Yours, The Writer's Alley, Season's of Humility, Bluerose, and I have been a member of Margaret's CHF for a while but didn't realize she had a separate blog until now! I know it doesn't count now, but I did join :)
My favorite recipe is for Carnation Fudge. I have been making it every Christmas for over 30 yrs.

Carnation Famous Fudge Recipe

•2 Tablespoons butter or margarine
•2/3 cup evaporated milk
•1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
•1/4 teaspoon salt
•2 cups (4 ounces) miniature marshmallows
•1-1/2 cups (9 ounces) semisweet chocolate chips
•1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, optional
•1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Combine butter or margarine, evaporated milk, sugar, and salt in a medium, heavy-duty saucepan.
Bring to a full rolling boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Boil stirring constantly for 4 to 5minutes. Remove from heat.

Stir in marshmallows, chocolate chips, nuts, and vanilla. Stir vigorously for 1 minute or until marshmallows are melted. Pour into a foiled-lined 8-inch square baking pan. Chill until firm.

Merry Christmas!!!

Off subject: Have you seen the BBC's adaptation of Emma (2009) and their mini series North & South (2004)? Excellent if you like period drama :)

totally forgot my email!!!



Don't even get us started on North & South!!! ;) LOVE IT!!! :D

And I really enjoyed the PBS Masterpiece version of Emma, as well, although I confess that I think I like the one with Gwyneth Paltrow better. :) I just love the hero, and all the actors/actresses do such a great job!

Sorry, but I couldn't resist responding to that comment! ;)


Wow, I am so glad I discovered your corner of the world today. I am a new follower of Dark Glass Ponderings.

+8 - I am now following all of the great blogs you suggested. (Thanks for sharing the awesome list!)

+3 - for sharing my favorite holiday recipe


Popcorn (at least 8 cups)
Approximately 2 cups nuts (your favorites)
1 1/2 cups white sugar
1 cup butter
1/2 cup corn syrup
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Have popcorn and nuts ready in a large bowl. Set aside.

Mix sugar, butter, and syrup together in a large microwaveable bowl. Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Stir and microwave on medium for 2 to 3 minutes until the mixture becomes frothy.

Stir in vanilla. Pour over popcorn and nuts. Toss to coat. Spread to cool on a flat surface. When cool break apart and store in a covered container.


Oops, I forgot one.

+1 for posting about your giveaway on my blog


+2 long-time follower
+1 follower of The Writers Alley
+1 follower of Amber at Seasons of Humility
+1 I am the Creative Madness Mama *wink*
+1 follower of Renee Ann - one of my favorite new people!

+1 If you are or become a follower of Joy, whom I was overjoyed to meet in person recently.

+1 Bluerose
+1 Steeler Girl Renee


Not an entry but I wanted to introduce my self. I love Christian Fiction, Joy, and Renee (Steeler Girl). Great contest :)

I am a new follower!

I tweeted your contest:

Favourite holiday recipe: Christmas squash seeds:
Take squash or pumpkin seeds, rinse off and dry well. Lightly coat with good quality extra virgin olive oil, salt, and a little bit of cinnamon. Toast in oven (5 minutes then flip, and keep checking). When they come out sprinkle some sugar on top as well. Enjoy!
teagirl1 at telus dot net

As one of the reasons I loved The Tudors was for the costumes, I'm definitly checking this one out.

+2 Long-time follower
+1 http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/14897556655972352
+3 recipe


alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com

1 pkg. (8 oz.) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
1 jar (7 oz.) JET-PUFFED Marshmallow Creme
1 tsp orange marmalade or strawberry jam
MIX ingredients until blended.
SERVE with assorted graham crackers, vanilla wafers, and cut-up fresh fruit.

I would love to be entered in this giveaway:) I am an old follower. #1


Old follower #2
Well, not that I am old but as in a long time follower:P


Thought I was a follower of The Writer's Alley already but I guess not. Became one though.


I already follow Operation Encourage An Author.


Already follow Season's of Humility.


Follow Creative Madness Mama.


Became a follower of Doorkeeper(Renee Ann)


Follow Joy.


Follow Bluerose now.


Already follow Steeler Girl Renee.


Tweeted about this giveaway.


Julia M. Reffner

About Me

My photo
Christ-loving bookworm & homeschool mom of 2 stealing the rare quiet moments to pursue that all elusive writing dream. I also write book reviews for Title Trakk and The Historical Novel Society.


Contributor at The Writer's Alley:


FeedBurner FeedCount