Nov 30, 2008

Most Of All...

Thankful Day 30...

Most of all I'm thankful for.....

"For God so loved the world He gave his only Son so that everyone who believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life."
John 3:16

Nov 29, 2008

At The End Of The Day...

Thankful Day 29...
I'm thankful for the beauty of a sunset.

Nov 28, 2008

Nature, In Full Glory

Thankful Day 28...
I'm thankful for the beauty in nature - God's creations.

Nov 27, 2008

Thanksgiving - Love Is All There Is!

Thankful Day 27...

I am thankful this Thanksgiving Day that I have spent my life with the LOVE of my life!


May each of you enjoy a wonderful and blessed day with the loves of your lives!

Here are mine...

Nov 26, 2008

Generations of Girls

I'm thankful for time spent with family. Here you see a final moment at the beach - bottom right, Mimi; bottom left, Mommy (my daughter Julie); top left, granddaughter Sydney (4yrs.); top right, granddaughter Isabelle (1 yr.).

Nov 25, 2008

A Recipe Your Thanksgiving Guests Will Love

A post repeat - a great recipe your guests will enjoy on Thanksgiving!

My daughter makes the most wonderful hot spiced cranberry apple cider every Autumn and Winter. Everyone raves about it. I'm sharing the recipe today. At whatever event you serve it, it will be a major hit - promise!

Hot Spiced Cranberry Apple Cider
8 cups apple cider
2 cups cranberry juice
1/4 cup sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
1 teaspoon whole allspice
1 orange, studded with whole cloves

Combine all ingredients in a crock pot, heat on low setting for two hours. Serve warm and enjoy the compliments!

Thankful Day 25 - Friendly In-Law's!

I'm thankful for my sister-in-law. Here Jeri and I are on our trip to Florida together in 2007. I'm on the left in front in the brown shirt. We are planning another beach trip this April. It's a joy to have a best friend in my sister-in-law!

Nov 24, 2008

If You want An Extra Special Thanksgiving Blessing, Go Here!

Do you follow Confessions of A CF Husband? The blog is written by a young man, a minister of music at a church in Nags Head South Carolina, who's wife has Cystic Fibrosis. While Tricia was waiting for a double lung transplant they discovered she was pregnant. Their baby was born 15+ weeks prematurely. Tricia finally had her transplants. After that welcome but terrible ordeal, just as things were looking up, Tricia was diagnosed with a specific form of lymphoma, apparently not too unusual for lung transplant patients. To make a long story short, Tricia has undergone months of chemotherapy, seemingly without success. They've had one report of bad news after another. This week they received the results of a recent biopsy. If you would like to have an extra special Thanksgiving blessing, head on over there to read their story and the newest report. You'll feel encouraged by this young couples efforts to raise their child together and live their faith!

Thankful Day 24 - Art

I'm thankful for the joy I receive from painting.

Nov 23, 2008

Thankful Day 23 - Example

I'm thankful that I grew up with parents who love each other.

Nov 22, 2008

Pink Christmas Heaven!

I am just about as excited about the new Christmas tree in my bathroom as I have ever been about anything! It's a 3 foot pink feather tree, a gift last year from Ceekay and her sweet hubby. Isn't it the sweetest thing you've ever seen?! LOVES IT!!!

I found these precious pink & white glass ornaments in Canada a couple of weeks ago and I've been dying to get them out and on something! The perfect something is this fluffy little tree!

And what about these precious clip on white glass birds with their silver glitter wings and white feather tails? Could you die?

The skirt around the tree is a pink glittered tulle. Be still my pink beating heart!

There are many more lovely Pink Saturday posts listed on Beverly's blog, How Sweet The Sound. Make sure to see them all!

Thankful Day 22 - Promise

I'm thankful for the promise of Spring!

Nov 21, 2008

Thankful Day 21 - A Traveling Fool!

Today I am thankful for travel. We spent our 1970 honeymoon in Nassau and the following summer we guided a group of students on a fabulous 10 day trip to Russia with a brief stop in Helsinki Finland. We spent spent the summer of 1973 in France as chaperone's to American students attending a summer language coarse. A highlight of my life was seeing the Eiffel Tower and the Mona Lisa. It was fun working for as travel guides for a few years and it provided us the opportunity to go to a couple of places we would never have been able to go otherwise. We spent many weeks in Florida at the beach and Disney World as our children were growing up - and we still do those trips every summer. Everyone wants to know why we always go back there instead of someplace else - it's because we can have a week or two of uninterrupted family time. Worth every penny! We have cruised to the Bahamas with our kids and on a Southern Caribbean cruise for our 25th anniversary to Puerto Rico, Antigua, St. Maartin, Barbados, St. Thomas, and Martinique. We took a wonderful trip to Hawaii with my husband's family - a gift from my in-law's. We have enjoyed seeing the Red Rocks of Sedona Arizona and we have been to Las Vegas a couple of times. After our daughters wedding in 2001 Hubby and I took a romantic trip to Niagara Falls. I had never been before and we had a wonderful few days there. We live close to the Canadian boarder so we have been able to explore a little bit there over the years as well. Since we live in Michigan and own acreage in northern Michigan, we have been able to visit Mackinac Island and other northern Michigan spots over the years as well. Hubby used to guide trips for students in their trips to Washington D.C. and so he guided our family once there too! It was wonderful. Colonial Williamsburg was fun and the Carolina's gorgeous. Since I am originally from Tennessee I have to mention the magnificent Smokey Mountains. My heart is still there in the mountains were I was born.

Travel isn't as inexpensive or as easy or as safe as it used to be. We feel so blessed that we were able to see so many wonderful places and have those memories to share now and in the future. Even though it is doubtful we will travel a lot more internationally, we are planning a 40th wedding anniversary trip to Italy and Greece in 2010.

What have I learned from travel?
1. To be GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL, GRATEFUL to God for blessing us with the joys of travel.

2. All of the places we have seen are fabulous and beautiful and charming in their own unique and special ways. Everyone loves their own country and normal is what we grow up with. But traveling has made me extremely GRATEFUL to be an American, where we are so very blessed to live in comparative peace and luxury.

3. When you travel, whether it be domestic or international, you are exposed to different cultures and people. People everywhere are wonderful. God made them all! The human race in general is good and kind, most all are in love with their families and we all celebrate and struggle with the same family dynamics. I am GRATEFUL for the opportunity to have learned through travel that people are good and equal everywhere.

Nov 20, 2008

Trim The Tree Thursday - Week 2

Every Thursday is Trim The Tree Thursday over at Brett's blog, Hostess With The Mostess! She has a list of ladies posted on her beautiful blog who have published some wonderful Christmas decor.

Today I am posting some new things I have purchased this year to decorate with. By next TTTT I will have decorated my house and will post pictures ready for Christmas - I HOPE!!

Nov 19, 2008

Thankful Day 20 - Oh, Fur Boy, I Love You & A Thanksgiving Recipe For Kelli

Kelli, There Is No Place Like Home, is hosting a thanksgiving week. Go to her beautiful blog to see a list of many thankful posts!

All in a Word
T for time to be together, turkey, talk, and tangy weather.

H for harvest stored away, home, and hearth, and holiday.

A for autumn's frosty art, and abundance in the heart.

N for neighbors, and November, nice things, new things to remember.

K for kitchen, kettles' croon, kith and kin expected soon.

S for sizzles, sights, and sounds, and something special that abounds.

THANKS...for joy in living and a jolly good Thanksgiving.

by - Aileen Fisher

Holiday Cranberry-Orange Salad
1 small box cherry flavored gelatin
2 small boxes cranberry flavored gelatin
1 small box orange flavored gelatin
3 ½ cups boiling water
1 can jellied cranberry sauce
1 small can frozen orange juice concentrate
several drops red food color
1 can crushed pineapple with juice
1 bag fresh cranberries, chopped
2 whole chopped oranges, plus the skin of 1
3 cups walnuts, chopped
½ - 1 cup sugar (depending on desired sweetness)
1 container frozen strawberries in sugar

Dissolve the gelatin in boiling water. Dissolve the cranberry sauce in hot gelatin. Add the orange juice concentrate and food coloring to the gelatin mixture. Chop the orange, the cranberries, and walnuts in a food processor individually. Combine with sugar and allow to stand for 10-15 minutes. Stir in the cranberries, pineapple, strawberries, ground orange, and walnuts. Chill in a serving bowl until firmly gelled.

My Thankful Day 20 post for Brookside Cottage's "30 Days of Giving Thanks" is gratitude for my fur boy, Noah, my almost 15 year old kitty! He's a sweet, sweet old boy. Noah follows me around all day and he gives me something to baby now that my children are adults!


Pam at Gray Like Snuffie is hosting 'The A B C's of the Word' each Thursday. Today's letter is "R".

"Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy."
Exodus 20:8

Thankful Day 19 - My Sweet Boy & Kelli's Thanksgiving - A Recipe

My Day 19 post for 30 Days of Giving Thanks, hosted by Joyce, Brookside Cottage, is gratitude for my sweet, sweet son! Jacob has been a joyous gift from the moment he was placed in my arms. When our daughter was 8 years old we were so very blessed to adopt our sweet Jacob. He was a funny kid and he's even funnier now. He was a loving child and he's even more so as a grown man. He cries like a little girl (at his own admittance) when someone else is hurt or at a movie. I love the fact that he has always run to hug and kiss his father and I and yells to us from a great distance "I love you" - even when he was in high school and in front of friends. It just tickles me to death that he tells everyone that the only person he has ever been afraid of in his entire life is his mother - I'm 5'2 and he's 6'2", 240lbs! I think it is terribly sweet that he loves babies and wants lots of them. And of great importance, he might be a grown man but he LOVES his mommy! Jacob moved out into his own home in May and he will be married in June to his absolutely precious Jen. I can hardly wait to watch them grow together! I think it will be pretty special. So today I am expressing thankfulness for my precious son!

First Thanksgiving

Venison for stew and roasting,
Oysters in the ashes toasting,
Geese done to a turn,
Berries and wild grapes
Mixed with dough and gently kneaded
What a feast!
Indian corn in strange disguises,
Ash cakes, hoe cakes,
Kernels roasted brown...
After months of frugal living
What a welcome first Thanksgiving
There in Plymouth town.
~By Aileen Fisher

Kelli, There Is No Place Like Home, is organizing Thanksgiving posts this week. I would like to share another recipe, this time on of my mother-in-law's.

Gram's Famous Stuffing Balls
3 loaves white bread (or any mix you like)
1 pound butter
1 teaspoon chicken bullion
4 cups chopped onions
4 cups chopped celery
1 teaspoon dried ground sage
1 teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
5 eggs

Cut the bread (crust on) into cubes a little less than 1 inch the day before you make these. Allow them to dry a little overnight in a roaster or bowl, stirring occasionally.

The next day, saute the celery and onions in 2 sticks of butter until nearly soft. Pour the cooked vegetables over the bread cubes. Melt the remaining 2 sticks of butter in the skillet and allow it to brown. Add bullion to soften. Pour it over the bread cubes. Beat the eggs and pour those over the bread cube mixture. Add sage, salt, and pepper. Mix it all up gently so bread cubes do not become mushy - you want them to retain their shape. Form the stuffing into 3 or 4 inch balls, just pressing them together loosely. You should still be able to see the cube shapes. Place the balls in baking pans.

Preheat oven at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes and bake uncovered until golden brown. Serve hot.

You can prepare these early and refrigerate. This recipes makes 3-4 dozen stuffing balls, depending on the size you make them.

Have a happy day!

Nov 18, 2008

A Give-A-Way

Melissa, Little Things In Life, is having a great Christmas give-a-way! Check it out! Her blog is just wonderful.

Thankful Day 18 and Kelli's Thanksgiving - A Recipe

A Turkey Speaks
I have never understood why anyone would ROAST A TURKEY,
and shuck the clams,
and crisp the croutons,
and shell the peas,
and candy the sweets,
and compote the cranberries,
and bake the pies,
and clear the table,
and wash the dishes,
and fall into bed,
when they could sit back and enjoy a hamburger!
-author, an unknown turkey

Kelli, There Is No Place Like Home, is hosting Thanksgiving posts this week. I have a recipe to share along with our plans for the day.

This year will be a different kind of Thanksgiving for me and for my family. I have cooked Thanksgiving dinner for many years. My husband's family always comes and my parents have come from Tennessee off and on over the years. This year, since my fathers health is so precarious, my husband and I and our daughters family will be going to Tennessee to have Thanksgiving with my parents. I will be cooking again, only in a different kitchen! I would like to share an old family sweet potato recipe with you. It was my maternal grandmothers recipe. Mother can remember being the "marshmallow inserter" from early childhood! I wrote and published a cookbook about 8 years ago and this is one of the most commented upon recipes in the book.

Sweet Potato Coconut Balls (from my mothers own words)
Wash and peel 5 or 6 fresh sweet potatoes. Cut them into big chunks and cover with water. Add a bit of salt. When water comes to a boil turn the temperature down to low and just let them simmer until tender. Boiling too hard will make them mushy. When they are fork tender drain them very well in a colander.

Mash the potatoes with a mixer until fluffy, then beat in a little hunk of butter, a dash of both cinnamon and nutmeg, and a tablespoon or so of sugar. Cover and refrigerate. You can do all this the day before you serve them.
Butter or spray a glass 9x13 inch baking dish. Pour out a big bag of miniature marshmallows and a big bag of coconut on separate plates. Spoon out about 2 tablespoons of the cold sweet potato mixture into the palm of your left hand and a marshmallow in your right hand. Push the marshmallow into the potatoes and mold the potatoes into a ball around the marshmallow. Roll the sweet potato ball in the coconut and place each ball in the prepared pan. Do not bake until just before serving.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees and bake the sweet potato balls for 5-10 minutes uncovered. Watch them very carefully. They should be lightly browned and the marshmallows should be getting puffy and gooey, but not totally melted. You can check them by poking one with the point of a knife. If you bake them too long they will have a hole in the middle with no marshmallow!

Now for my day 18 item for 30 Days of Giving Thanks, which has been organized by Joyce, Brookside Cottage.
Have you ever hated something and been grateful for it all at the same time? I never totally understood this concept until I began having IV infusions to fight a blood disease (diagnosed three years ago this week). I despise the day of treatment every three weeks and resent its intrusion into my life with all my heart, but I am at the same time overwhelmingly grateful for these life giving infusions! So today, I am thankful for those hateful 9 hour days chained to the torture chair - really...I am!
Have a fabulous, perfectly joyous week!

Nov 17, 2008

Thankful Day 17 - Hormone Hostages?

Ok, laugh if you want, but my day 17 thankful item is Estrogen! I should say, my FAMILY is thankful! I was 29 when I started taking it after a hysterectomy. My family was so grateful that every time we went on vacations my kids and husband individually would carefully ask, "Do you have enough Estrogen?" Now that is just sad! You've heard the saying "when Mama ain't happy, nobody ain't happy? No explanation necessary - too bad, so sad for them! A hysterectomy at 29 can be ugly!! That little blue football shaped pill is a miracle in a bottle and one I - and my victims are thankful for!

I found this "Hormone Hostage Guide" courtesy of and I thought it was a pretty funny. Even though this is a "thankful" post I thought you might enjoy it too.

Hormone Hostage Guide:
Every "Hormone Hostage" knows that all a man has to do is open his mouth and he takes his life in his hands. This is a handy guide that should be as common as a driver's license in the wallet of every husband, boyfriend or significant other.

DANGEROUS: What's for dinner?
SAFER: Can I help you with dinner?
SAFEST: Where would you like to go for dinner?

DANGEROUS: Are you wearing THAT?
SAFER: Gee, you look good in brown.
SAFEST: Wow! Look at you!

DANGEROUS: What are you so worked up about?

SAFER: Could we be overreacting?

SAFEST: Here's fifty dollars.

DANGEROUS: Should you be eating that?
SAFER: You know, there are a lot of apples left.
SAFEST: Can I get you a glass of wine with that?

DANGEROUS: What did you DO all day?
SAFER: I hope you didn't over do it today.
SAFEST: I've always loved you in that robe.

30 Days of Giving Thanks is hosted by Joyce, Brookside Cottage.

Also, Kelli, There Is No Place Like Home, is hosting thankful posts this week, Monday through Thursday. I had already prepared this silly post so I just went with it! I'll try to be a little more geared to Thanksgiving the rest of the week!