the world’s simplest cookies!

Delicious and so easy to make…

If you’re like me and you love chocolate and peanut butter, with a regular stock at home, then just mix some of these ingredients together for a yummy after school snack. =) I found this super simple and quick recipe online and it only needs 4+1 ingredients!

or if  you’re in a pinch and need a quick dessert to bring with you but don’t want to stop at the store… look no further! I’ll help you out, friend!

I made them for my kids’ Sunday school class, Bible studies, just for fun, and for a birthday present too! Go figure.

Chocolate-chip peanut-butter cookies.   

Ingredients needed:

1 cup of peanut butter

1 cup of sugar

1/4 teaspoon of vanilla extract

1 large egg

1 cup of semi-sweet chocolate chips.


^what i used last time I made these (yesterday!)

  1. Stir together 1 cup of peanut butter, sugar, egg, vanilla extract and chocolate chips in a large bowl until completely combined.


The dough will have a consistency like this (above^)

2. Then shape the dough into small balls, any size will do! I like bite sized, but other people like “regular sized” cookies, which are about 1 inch in diameter.

3. Then place the balls about an inch or so apart on an uncreased baking sheet or two.IMG_6152

(You can decorate their shape at this point if you like by flattening them out with a fork, or the heel of your hand)

4. Lastly, bake in a conventional oven for 15 minutes at 325 degrees Fahrenheit (or until golden brown).


5. then let them cool for as short, or as long as you’d like and then place them on a pretty tray or dump into a box to bring along to enjoy and share! =)


You can make any variation of this that you wish! You could substitute the chocolate chips with nuts, or make peanut butter and chocolate cookies by splitting the cup of peanut butter ingredient in half. Experiment with all the yummy goodness and enjoy! =)

Adoptare: Story 4

My name is Alex. Alexis, the longer version. Today I will share one part of my unique story.

I have three sisters, and the four of us are all adopted. I find this the most amazing family situation: my adopted parental heritage is mostly Italian, and a bit American Indian & English-but my sisters are adopted one and each from a different country. Morgan, the oldest, is from South Korea; myself from (Northern) Vietnam; Jordan from (Eastern) China, and Zoë from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA.

But only God knew that I would have three sisters, because at the time of this story I only had two.
The third came in a very unique and unexpected way. My sisters are, Morgan, Jordan, and Zoë. Zoë is the youngest, and she’s seven years old now.
It was on a sunny Saturday morning, September 29, 2001, ten years ago; It was that life-changing day. At this time, my dad owned & worked at a bagel/ sandwich shop in South Philly. Since it was the weekend, My dad was at home. Early that morning he had received a phone call from Joe, one of his coworkers, saying that they had a serious situation at the store. He didn’t say what it was, just that he needed him right away. So Dad went over. He had been gone for about an hour, when he called my mom telling her to come over the bridge to the shop. She was puzzled, and wondered what was going on. Morgan wasn’t allowed to be home alone with Jordan and me, because she was too young then. An exception was made though, because my dad needed my mom in Philly. When my mom got there, there was a baby in a car seat on the floor near the counter. My dad asked her what she thought of the baby, and, thinking that she was a customer’s baby, said, “She’s cute!” Dad said that THIS was a serious situation.
Joe said that this baby girl was left here in a car seat in front of the counter, on the floor. He didn’t notice her until around 11:30, when the morning rush died down. When he finally noticed her, he asked around. No one knew who she was, or who her parents were. One of the customers picked her up in the meantime. As they did, a note in the bottom of the car seat was noticed. The customer picked it up and handed it to Joe. He read the note, which, in short, read, “I can see from the pictures in your shop that you’ve adopted before. Please consider raising my daughter, for we can’t do so ourselves.”
After overcoming the shock, my mom thought, surely we can take her home until things are figured out. But the police said they couldn’t do that because the state has to protect the little girl and follow procedures. They said she had to go to foster care. My dad said, “ Hey, wait, that note give us permission and authority to take care of her, though primitively.” A social worker, had shown up by now, and she repeated what the police had stated earlier.
A thought entered my mom’s head just then. Home studies are required for adoption and foster care.
This is where she, my mom, felt that God’s hand was in this situation, because Mom had just renewed ours when she came back from China, from adopting Jordan. It was under a year that we had Jordan, and so the homestudy was still active & valid. She told this to the social worker, who answered with slight hesitation. She said she was willing to bend the rules because, get this, she was going to a concert and didn’t want to be saddled with a baby all week-end. (God worked that out, huh? Of course; “WHAT a GOD!”)
Our attorney was contacted and he faxed a copy of our home study to the social worker’s office. There was a small problem though, when they found out we lived in New Jersey, not Pennsylvania. God led these people’s actions though, because once again they waived the rules and let it slide for just this one exception. The store address was used for the forms and papers. Mom took her home, while Dad stayed at the store to find out more details and about what would happen on Monday. On her way home, my mom decided to surprise us kids. As she was approached home, she called the house phone, and told us to come out, she had a big surprise for us. Morgan got outside first, with Jordan and I trailing behind her. Morgan opened up the car door, and next thing I knew, she was shrieking happily, and screaming with delight in my ear. I looked over her shoulder and saw a little baby, and we all fell in love with her instantly. We all ended up yelling, making the baby cry. Mom took her inside the house and laid her down on the kitchen counter. Now our little bundle of joy was dressed in a cute Halloween outfit, an orange pumpkin, complete with pumpkin booties. (This was actually where her first nickname came from, Boo.) Mom called her parents (my Pop-Pop and Gramma) who lived nearby and told them the news. My grandparents came over as soon as they found out. They, too, experienced love at first sight. =]
They wanted to go out shopping for her, even if we didn’t end up keeping her. By this time my Dad had made many, many, many phone calls. He called all his attorney friends, my uncle & also cousin (both in law and law enforcement) and the actual attorneys in charge of the case as well, trying to block the many, many ways to take her back.
We ended up being her foster family while the process took course.

On Monday, the adoption process began. Attorneys from both states of New Jersey and Pennsylvania began working along with the state police and detectives trying to find the biological parents. They needed them to sign a release for the adoption process. Several methods were used to look for them, such as newspaper ads, and mouth-to-mouth communication. After several weeks, my dad ended up being the one who found them. He spoke to several people and found out who the mother was and where she lived. He went to the apartment, and the landlord said she hung out where her boyfriend worked. My dad went there and found out who they both were and what they looked like. They came to the store some time after that and Dad learned their names and the other necessary information. He was able to confirm that it was truly their heart’s desire for us to have her. It was revealed to us then that their six week-old baby’s name was Antoinette Josephine. I am glad that we were able to adopt her and rename her Zoë Monroe.
Her biological parents’s signatures were at last obtained, and their release form could be completed. Then our court date came, and we went in with all the necessary legal papers. This whole particular process only took us 14 months and 3 weeks, a record-breaking time, compared to the typical 18 months to 3 years time frame. Even the judge never saw a case like ours, because it was so unique, in that we cut out most of the waiting period and when directly to the actual adoption.
My parents told her it was God’s plan that we were able to overcome every legal barrier and obstacle. It was December 13, 2002, when I finally could say that I was proud to be the big sister of Zoe Monroe.


Recently I shared my testimony with a group of college-aged friends at my church, as a sort of informal speech. I haven’t had such an opportunity before, the “outline of my life” conversation has only happened once before, between me and my best friend.

Conversation Hours

Here at school, we have a “fourth hour” for each class that a student takes. That is, for example, a science class has 3 hours of meeting time a week, and then a fourth hour: lab, or a music class has 3 hours of meetings each week, plus a performance, recitation, or concert of some sort. Well, it’s no different with learning a language. ASL is the 5th language other than English I’ve begun to learn since high school, but so far, it’s been the most intriguing but also intimidating at times class. As one, this language class has 3 hours of meeting time a week, and then its fourth hour is a conversation hour.

Learning to be Deaf…

Growing up in a world with many disabilities and health problems, handicaps and syndromes, I never was unfamiliar with treating others with compassion, respect and interest. However, we’ve always had a common ground, and I’ve met many of my friends with health problems in natural settings. I’ve never honestly “truly” left my comfort zone to go looking for someone to be a friend to.  I’ve attended a church in which there has always been a significant and strong Deaf population.

Deaf Church (and Sunday School)


Solid Rock Baptist Church 420 South White Horse Pike Berlin, NJ, 08009


Classmates who attended event also: None (However, I did attend the morning service with a hard-of-hearing friend who knows some ASL, Alyssa, but she is not a classmate.


Deaf person(s) interacted with at the event: We spoke to many of my Deaf friends I previously was acquainted with from church attendance previously. Their names are Milton Smith, Pastor Chris Harris, Doug, Anita and Barbara and Bob.


Event details/info: This event was a Sunday School class (10am-10:30 am) and a church service (10:30-11:30) completely for the Deaf members who attend this church. There were approximately 40-45 people in service today, and I was able to speak a little bit with many.



DIRECTIONS: Type your responses beneath each item. Use as much space as needed:


  1. Describe your role at this event.


Today I was an attendee, a listener, student, short talk conversationalist and friend.


  1. On a scale of 1 – 10 (1 = uninvolved observer … 10 = involved conversationalist), rate and explain your level of involvement.


I believe I was a 6-7 on the scale, as involved observing conversationalist. I believe this because I understood much of what was being spoken about during the sermon, understood questions asked to me, asked questions of my own to other attendees I spoke with, signed a short “autobiography” of myself as an ASL student to the Deaf Pastor (Pastor Chris), and introduced my friend Alyssa to my Deaf friends. However, I was a little slow in my “translating” ASL to English during the songs.


  1. Describe the primary topics of signed conversation at this event.


Because Pastor Chris is Deaf, and most of the attendees were also Deaf, the song service, the entire sermon, prayers and benediction were all signed. His wife, Diana, however, is hearing, and she voice interpreted to English the sermon only. The songs we sang were “Great is Thy Faithfulness” and “Trust and Obey.” Topics in these songs are about God, faithfulness, trusting, mercy and obeying, the sunrise and sunset, etc.


  • The sermon topic was about evil in this world and what Christians can and should do in response to it. He explained that there were many different signs for “evil.”
  • Conversationally, topics included my “ASL autobiography” (me as an ASL student), introducing me and Alyssa, “how are yous,” playing music, attending different churches, friends, family, visiting/ traveling and “victory.”


  1. Provide an example of how a conversational exchange was initiated and ended. 


I began a conversation with my good friend Milton by walking up to him from across the room and tapping his shoulder, “Good morning; it is nice to see you!” He answered with “Nice to see you; how are you?” and I answered with “good, and how are you” also. Later, after service and other conversations, he asked me a question and I was able to answer: “Yes, I still play the cello and I drive alone!“ The conversation ended with “Will you take a picture with me and my friend?” and then he nodded and helped us pose. This was right before we left, so our conversation ended with “Thank you,” “nice to see you,” and “I love you.”


I answered Pastor Chris when he asked us, “Are you learning to sign?” We both were able to answer him with “Yes, we are learning now to sign- me at college and Alyssa in high school.”

“Good, good; it is nice to see you today! Thank you for visiting.”


  1. Provide details of when and how at least two ASL grammatical structures were used.


Grammatical structures that I noticed were placement and movement, and the use of eyebrows to convey punctuations. For example, Pastor Chris spoke about “evil” in the world and proceeded to give a few examples of what he meant by this, so he described one on his left side, another in front of him, and a third on his right side. He also used movement in each part to express the punctuation and context of his words. He got excited, sped up or slowed down, bent over, walked around etc to provide context and non-verbal linguistics.


He also used his eyebrows to convey meaning; particularly I noticed the WH eyebrows and also Y/N eyebrows. The Y/N eyebrows were used though more often as a rhetorical kind of question, since during a sermon he is not actually asking a question for an answer most of the time. For example, he asked, “You all know remember the news story about Ebola?” with his eyebrows raised and head slightly tilted; many of the attendees raised their hands in “Oh I see,” or nodded.



  1. Describe at least one Deaf cultural norm at this event that differs from hearing cultural norms.


The cultural norm that I experienced today that I remember most is that of getting one another’s attentions. It’s not rude or uncommon at all to tap on another person’s shoulder or tap the table or wall next to them to alert them. When I arrived, my friend Diane, an sign-English interpreter, introduced me to many people in the Sunday School and she did so by walking up to others, in a busy hallway, and tapping them on the shoulder forcefully until they realized someone was calling them. I met Doug this way. It differs from hearing cultural norms, as it is inappropriate or rude to touch someone, for most reasons, especially people you don’t know or know well. Something I also noticed and really appreciate was the amount of eye contact people give. I believe it is a good quality to have and lacking in a lot of hearing culture. I like that it is an essential norm in Deaf culture.


  1. Based on this experience … 


  1. What ASL skill do you feel is your strongest and why do you feel that way?


Based on today’s experience, I feel that paraphrasing (comprehension) is my strongest skill so far in ASL, though I am far from proficient. I also think confidence in what I know and asking for clarification is a strong point… because I was among a people who mostly were very kind, I felt welcomed and able to ask them to help me learn ASL.


  1. What ASL skill do you feel is your weakest and why do you feel that way?  


Based on today, I believe that my weakest skill is vocabulary and speed in conversations. I was able to talk to people, but limited because I do not know several signs for all the information I wanted to tell, and also these conversations were with people I knew well and were patient with my speed in understanding. With the sermon, it was easier to understand because it was only one person signing, so the way he forms his signs I was able to determine after a few times using the word. In conversations, there were many different people who sometimes used different signs or formed it differently and I did not pick up on it and became a little confused.


  1.  What is one idea for strengthening the skill you feel is your weakest? 


I plan to attend more events where I can comfortably learn more about ASL and DHH culture. I plan to sign with others in class in a study group and in my community to practice speed as well as learn more vocabulary over the next few weeks and continuing. I am currently working with some friends at my own church to perform a special music in ASL for Mother’s Day, where we are learning new vocabulary and placement/movement structure to a song called “How Beautiful.” I believe this is helpful in strengthening this skill as well as improving my comfortableness and confidence in signing.


  1. Summarize your level of comfort with understanding/participating at this event. 


Overall, I was very comfortable understanding at this event, both with the sermon and other conversations, and also very comfortable with participating, during the “handshaking/greeting time” and conversations afterwards. I was a little hesitant at first to sign during the song service in the beginning of the service because I was familiar with the song and I had trouble speedily converting a beloved hymn I knew in English to ASL and then signing it. I enjoyed observing a deacon lead the song though and participated as much as I could. I enjoyed this event very much.


  1. Additional Comments?  


The sign for “soon” in the context of “Jesus is coming soon” I found interesting as it was similar to “near” or “close” even though it really meant “quickly. I mentioned it in class after we learned “mountains” and other locations/directions, because it was similar. I am






Student’s Signature: Alexis Lauren Galacio Patti


Date Submitted: March 25, 2015


Note: typing your name on this form in the space above is considered your electronic signature.


Below are photo proofs of attendance.

Alyssa, Alexis (me) and Milton at Deaf Church (3.8.15)


Proofs of Attendance:


Church Bulletin (inside) (3.8.15)


Church Bulletin (outside/ front and back) (3.8.15)

What does Adoption Mean to you?

For me, adoption represents the heart of my life story. Also, I am a Christian, who is adopted in God’s family in addition to my physical family. Recently I undertook an intense research session on the topic and even in that brief few months, I discovered that there are at an estimate of 16.2 million adoptable (as in parentless) children– orphans– in the world today, and millions more people as a whole living in our world today.

At the least, adoption is most often a touchy subject for people.  Adoption is often overlooked, misunderstood, disregarded, ignored, hated, despised, loathed, loved, adored, inspirational, educational, or not understood at all other than the basics. I discovered so much about it, and learned how we can make a difference in the world and in the lives of others through this mission. Through it I feel I”m compelled to raise the awareness for the orphans of the world. Adoption is not exclusively “Christian, “ but it is particularly Christian.

A Phrase of Praise: “Here I Raise My Ebenezer” My beloved high school, Stratford Classical Christian Academy, hosts a special concert every year, celebrating American Hymns and Spirituals with a honorary expanded Chamber Choir. Below is a photo from a few years ago, when we sang together. I loved one song in particular, called “Restoration,” arranged by Sacred Harp. In “Restoration,” the lyrics are probably most familiar to many as the words to “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” a hymn written in 1758 by a pastor named Robert Robinson. However, the tune of “Restoration” is different from the traditional melody of my favorite hymn. As the expanded Chamber Choir sang this song, it prompted me to remember and enjoy the meaning of the words: both in experience and in understanding. In experience, this song is a one of celebration, thankfulness, and joy, while this song in understanding is one of praise, thankfulness, and remembrance. The words of this song are so appropriate for what God has done at our small school; he has blessed us beyond measure and we praise Him for it as we continue in the work of the Lord. One particular phrase in this song especially creates a beautiful musical offering to God for those blessings; it has a specific beautiful truth behind it. Yet because the words are familiar to us, we may miss this phrase. It is found in the third verse: “Here I raise my Ebenezer /hither by Thy help I am come.” If you are like me, then you may have wondered at some point, “What biblical truth is this ‘Ebenezer’ referring to; it couldn’t possibly the typical ‘Ebenezer’ referral, the character from Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol, so what does it mean?” From familiarity with the words, I did not realize what a tremendous biblical truth the phrase including “Ebenezer” was referring to, until it was specifically pointed out. At Stratford Classical Christian Academy, the Upper School begins each day with a chapel service. On this particular day, our teacher Mr. Henriquez opened the chapel with the song, “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” and then explained to us what the phrase including “Ebenezer” means. The term “Ebenezer” is referring to the passage in 1 Samuel 7, during the time when the Philistines were attacking the Israelite people, including Samuel the prophet. In summary, the Israelites, in fear for their lives, besieged Samuel to pray on their behalf and for deliverance in their upcoming battle with the Philistines. Thus Samuel offered a sacrifice and a prayer for protection to God. God heard Samuel’s prayer and answered him: he answered in their favor and caused the Israelites to triumph in the battle and the Philistines to retreat back home. To commemorate God’s power and deliverance upon their victory, the Bible says that “Then Samuel took a stone, and set it between Mizpeh and Shen, and called the name of it Ebenezer, saying, Hitherto hath the LORD helped us” (1 Samuel 7:12 KJV). The Hebrew words “Eben hà-ezer (eh’-ben haw-e’-zer)” are translated into English as one word: “Ebenezer,” which simply means a “stone of help.”* From this we can see than an “Ebenezer” is a stone that serves as a monument or testimony to recognize and signify God’s help and blessing upon Samuel’s prayer. When Pastor Robinson wrote the lyrics of “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing,” he understood the truth behind the word “Ebenezer,” and followed in its truth with the phrase, “hither by thy help I am come” in the third verse. In Pastor Robinson’s poem, the words communicate that he acknowledged and praised God for His bountiful blessings and help throughout his life. In that chapel, our teacher Mr. Henriquez shared with us his own personal “Ebenezer”: his eldest son. He shared that every time he looks at his son, as a “miracle child” in many ways, Mr. Henriquez is reminded of God’s abounding and amazing blessings in his life. It was then appropriate that we sang this awesome hymn to close the chapel service, as Mr. Henriquez encouraged us to “sing with understanding.” Following his precious testimony, I also took a moment to recognize the “ebenezer” and to remember the works God has done in my own life, and it has created an awe and a spirit of thankful worship. I now sing “Come Thou Fount” in joyful gratitude to God alone for the beautiful life of health, American freedom and hope in Christ I have, that may not have been mine in a different situation. It’s all thanks to God for my family, health, abilities, faith, education and blessings, including the friends and community I found here at Stratford. Perhaps the next time you hear “Come Thou Fount” you might reflect on your own “ebenezer,” and pray in song. As you listen to the song of “Restoration,” remember that the “Ebenezer that we raise” is our recognition of and praise for God’s blessings upon our lives. God bless you! *Enhanced Strong’s Lexicon (1995)

Literary Analysis: Genre in Ezekiel 1-24

Alexis Lauren Galacio Patti | LIT 340 | The Bible As Literature

Professor Steinberg | October 9, 2015

Genre in Ezekiel 1-24

As a prophet writing about his own life, this book of the Bible is a prophetic writing genre, and the prophetic books seem to include a sense of urgency, awe and fear, a call to action (for the intended audience) and also a message of hope, or a reference to the Remnant. Ezekiel also seems to use the common conventions to describe a tale to set it among other prophetic books. The conventions of prophetic writing are a prophet’s call, his message and the manner of his claim to divine authority, as well as a remnant concept. Characters of a prophetic book tend to include the prophet himself, the Lord God, the prophet’s family if he has any members, and of course his audience, in this case, the Kingdom of Judah,

Regarding the genre’s purpose, the most important necessary element is a combination of its narrative components and imagery. In Ezekiel 2, he describes his call, but before doing so, in chapter 1 he vividly and vigorously established his claim to divine authority. He is unique from the calling of Amos or Jeremiah, because Ezekiel’s calling arose from a vivid vision initially, with direct conversation with the Lord God later on. Ezekiel’s call and his description of his calling were vibrantly explained as the book begins. He does mention his role, but in contrast to the time spent describing the atmosphere of the vision and the symbols in it, his calling seems like a spoke in the wheel of all this grandeur he spoke of. Upon reflection of the other prophetic books we’ve read, it seems that only Isaiah has so abundantly described the atmosphere of his calling, particularly calling up images and concepts simply with generous adjectives and adverbs. This genre is well known for its imagery; because its style is that it uses imagery to convey meaning and depth to the prophet’s message. Ezekiel is no exception to this, as the siege of Jerusalem is symbolically described as well as plainly said in chapter four, and Judah’s captivity symbolized in chapter twelve.

The use of imagery to describe one’s message is a necessary element of a prophetic book; however, Ezekiel here also seems to vary from the expectations we’re learned regarding his message of condemnation and judgment. Because Ezekiel’s book was written by Ezekiel himself, he includes his own commentary or responses to the messages he is to proclaim. After his calling and after delivering judgment message, Ezekiel is left alone, and he has a dialogue with the Lord God throughout the book, something that is more uncommon than common in the prophetic writing genre.

My Story in 227 Words

Day20| #mystory |💛| One of my favorite verses in the Bible is Psalm 118:17. My story began a long time ago, before God ever created heaven and earth! What? Before the world, God chose a purpose for me. So in this I can rejoice in my King! 21 years ago he knitted me together and in His book were written the days formed for me. 1 year later he brought two families, twocultures and hearts together through international adoption. 7 years later he delivered me from the pit of destruction, casting all my sins behind His back and legally proclaiming to the world me into his family. Oh-Justified!-Adopted!-Saved!! Then he claimed my heart ‘back’ to his 9 years after that! 2 years after that day, he placed other burdens on my heart as vehicles to share his Gospel- his beautiful story for me. God has constantly equipped me and guided me, supplying my every true need. He has called me by name, and I am His. He has done all things well. He has already won it all, and He is returning soon. He is faithful to every word he ever says- all he does. That means you, like me, are created for a purpose and he’ll be faithful to complete you. What a privilege it is to celebrate my Maker! Won’t you celebrate God, source of our being and all blessings, with me?! 🎉 

Psalm 139:13-16, Isaiah 38:17, Isaiah 43, Phil. 4:19, Matthew 28:20, Ephesians 1:4-15, 1 Thess 5:24 💚 | #adoptionphotoaday #twiceadopted #pray #adoptionisthegospel #chooseadoption #patienceiskey