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A Watered Garden

Updated: 2014-10-04T20:47:54.122-05:00


Breaking the Silence


Just to set the record straight... according to my dear friend, Ginger, I have "abandoned" my blog. This isn't exactly accurate as I have actually neglected my blog. There IS a difference. I'm not sure what the difference is since both point to the fact that I haven't written a post in over two months. But, as I see it, neglected means that I will get back on track and post from time to time and abandoned means I've jumped ship. I haven't jumped ship. So, now that we have that cleared up....
If anyone is still around that may just happen to read this... I hope you had a great July 4th, full of fun family times and renewed patriotic fervor. We had a nice BBQ meal. Meg is in town to join us, along with her friends Josh & Chelsea. Erin, Micah and Liam were here as well. :-) We played cards and hung out. We had to play cards because last time Meg and Josh were here (Father's Day) all we did was sit around and stare at the baby. He IS incredibly adorable you know. (You may not know that since I haven't posted any of the 5,000 pictures I've taken of him) So, although Josh was very polite over the situation, he must have been bored silly watching us watch Liam. On Father's Day I promised him next time he came over we would get back to our usual family night of eating and playing "Hand & Foot". So, there you go! No fireworks, no picnic in 95 degree weather.... just eating, hanging out and playing cards. I will tell you that for awhile we had an uneven number of people to make up card teams... so I had to sit out and hold the baby. I know... it was a sacrifice, but someone had to do it. I am a very sacrificial mother you know. ;-) And would you believe I didn't take ONE SINGLE picture last night? I'm really slipping!!
So... we're off to have lunch with Megan, but I wanted to stick up a post... just to prove Ginger wrong. LOL! I can be tacky like that. Have a great weekend!

I'm In Love...

2008-05-03T13:59:31.592-05:00 has changed since I wrote last, about six weeks ago. My husband went out of town on business and I fell in love with someone else. It's true. I asked him not to leave... he knew this was a possibility and yet he doesn't seem too bothered by my behavior. In fact... he hasn't even complained that I've neglected things at home...or him, to spend so much time with this new love interest. I think actually... he is smitten as well... I guess it's our new position as grandparents that is creating all the stir!!!!!!Yes, we are rejoicing over the safe and healthy arrival of our first grandchild:Liam JosephBorn April 22, 20088 lbs, 10 oz21" longProud Parents: Erin & Micah (our eldest daughter and son-in-love)Liam is sporting the little knitted hat I made for him to wear after birth to keep his head warm. He is also wrapped in a handmade blanket we received from Brad's grandmother upon the birth of our first child, Erin I now understand the reality of what my friends have been saying all along...Being a "Grandma" is the BEST! The love you have for your grandchild is very special... your children's children!! Amazing! I pray we have the opportunity as grandparents to make a meaningful difference in the life of each of our grandchildren.And what an honor and a blessing to be asked by Erin to attend the birth of their first child. I am so incredibly thankful that I could witness Liam's birth and the wonderful job Erin (and Micah) did in bringing him into this world. We are all rejoicing at the safe delivery, the blessing of a good midwife and, a good birthing experience for Erin & Micah. Along with the job of being an encouragement (hopefully!) and support to Erin, as well as being the official smoothie maker... I had the privilege of taking pictures throughout the whole event. Yes, Liam will believe his Nana has a camera permanently growing out of her face...I'm sure! Here's just a few pics from the first few days of Liam's life. Welcome Liam...we've been waiting for you! The midwife did an awesome she is checking him all out after birth. Isn't he beautiful?? :-) The new family... A sleepy little boy...tuckered out after birth! We're sure he probably sucked his thumb, even in the womb. :-) Looking forward to playing... "this little piggy...." with these toes!Liam wore this on this first outing out to the Doctor's office one day after birth. This white outfit was purchased in 1982 in anticipation of the birth of our first child. Back then we didn't have an ultrasound and we didn't know whether we would be having a boy or a girl. So...we purchased two "going home" for a boy and one for a girl. Since Erin used the girl's going home outfit... we thought it would be fitting for her to receive the outfit intended for her had she been a boy. I gave it to her at a recent baby shower given by the ladies at our church. It was neat to now see her own son wearing it on his first outing. Also, the receiving blanket is one I made for him.Erin went into labor two weeks early...and yes, Brad was out of town. I felt so bad for him to miss out on being nearby for the birth. We were both thankful that I hadn't planned to go with him and could be there to help out for Erin and Micah. Megan got to come into town a few days after Liam was born to meet her new nephew. It was hard for her to return back to work and school...leaving behind such a special little boy! We are sad that Ashley has to wait a few more weeks before she can meet her new nephew. I'm really looking forward to her visit!Is it really possible that I haven't written for six weeks!!?? I've sure missed my blogging friends. Hopefully I can be a little more faithful in writing here at my neglected blog... bless anyone that is still checking and dropping by for a visit! Blessings, Nana (also known as Diane)[...]

As We Remember


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Snakes, Llamas and other Critters


This is an albino Burmese Python-picture courtesy of Wikipedia This is also an albino Burmese Pynthon's head...up close and personal. Brought to you by my camera and of course the "Petting Zoo" at a community event our church hosted last weekend. I was asked to be photographer...and I had way too much fun!!Double Decker Snakes... the kids had a BALL!And get to see me hanging out with my 9' friend last Sunday. Looks like I never learned my lesson when I was just a young thing...Yep...I was in to Snake Handing back in the dark ages as well ~ 1976 (dark know...when my hair was dark...before all this gray)This picture is dedicated to our Llama lovin daughter, Megan. Meg, you would have LOVED this little lady...she was a real friendly gal and we got along great! She liked me because I fed her...and she also decided she liked my camera. She wanted to eat my lens. Bad Llama.As you can tell I hung out around the Petting Zoo alot Sunday afternoon.From time to time we do "just for fun" type events open to our community. Someplace safe and exciting to bring the kids and enjoy some family time together. They called it "Western Days" (we do live in Texas you know), had a free lunch and all sorts of activites for the kids. That evening we wrapped up the day with a nice dinner for the adults and a comedy show that kept us all cracking up. I'll spare you the other 437 pictures I edited and handed in to the church yesterday...but suffice it to say, it was an enjoyable day!![...]

Incredible Story


A truly awesome testimony!!! And we think we have troubles..............I recently received this email from a cousin and was captivated by Nick's story. What an incredible ministry Nick has and willingness to share God's love through so much personal pain and challenge. This story and the videos below put life into perspective...especially when I think I'm having a "bad day"."My name is Nick Vujicic and I give God the Glory for how He has used my testimony to touch thousands of hearts around the world! I was born without limbs and doctors have no medical explanation for this birth "defect". As you can imagine, I was faced with many challenges and obstacles. "Consider it pure joy, my Brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds." ..To count our hurt, pain and struggle as nothing but pure joy? As my parents were Christians, and my Dad even a Pastor of our church, they knew that verse very well. However, on the morning of the 4th of December 1982 in Melbourne (Australia), the last two words on the minds of my parents was "Praise God!". Their firstborn son had been born without limbs! There were no warnings or time to prepare themselves for it. The doctors were shocked and had no answers at all! There is still no medical reason why this had happened and Nick now has a Brother and Sister who were born just like any other baby. The whole church mourned over my birth and my parents were absolutely devastated. Everyone asked, "if God is a God of Love, then why would God let something this bad happen to not just anyone, but dedicated Christians?" My Dad thought I wouldn't survive for very long, but tests proved that I was a healthy baby boy just with a few limbs missing. "And we know that in all things God works for the best for those who love Him." That verse spoke to my heart and convicted me to the point where that I know that there is no such thing as luck, chance or coincidence that these "bad" things happen in our life. I had complete peace knowing that God won't let anything happen to us in our life unless He has a good purpose for it all. I completely gave my life to Christ at the age of fifteen after reading John 9. Jesus said that the reason the man was born blind was "so that the works of God may be revealed through Him." I truly believed that God would heal me so I could be a great testimony of His Awesome Power. Later on I was given the wisdom to understand that if we pray for something, if it's God's will, it'll happen in His time. If it's not God's will for it to happen, then I know that He has something better. I now see that Glory revealed as He is using me just the way I am and in ways others can't be used. I am now twenty-three years old and have completed a Bachelor of Commerce majoring in Financial Planning and Accounting. I am also a motivational speaker and love to go out and share my story and testimony wherever opportunities become available. I have developed talks to relate to and encourage students through topics that challenge today's teenagers. I am also a speaker in the corporate sector.I have a passion for reaching out to youth and keep myself available for whatever God wants me to do, and wherever He leads, I follow. I have many dreams and goals that I have set to achieve in my life. I want to become the best witness I can be of God's Love and Hope, to become an international inspirational speaker and be used as a vessel in both Christian and non-Christian venues. I want to become financially independent by the age of 25, through real estate investments, to modify a car for me to drive and to be interviewed and share my story on the " Oprah Winfrey Show "! Writing several best-selling books has been one of my dreams and I hope to finish writing my first by the end of the year. ?It will be called "No Arms, No Legs, No Worries!"? I believe that if you have the desire and passion to do something, and if it's God's will, you will achieve it in good time. As humans, we continually put limits[...]

Apples of Gold


Apples of Gold in shining Silver;
That's what our words should be.
May the glowing of Your Spirit
Reflect, O Lord, in me.

Help me to guard each word I speak;
May only love proceed,
So that what others hear from me, Lord,
Is really what they need.

May all my words be seasoned, Lord,
So richly by Thy grace,
That when others look upon me
They see Your glorious face.

"A Word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in a setting of silver." Proverbs 25:11

"Bid the older women likewise to be reverent in behavior, not to be slanderers or slaves to drink. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be sensible, chaste, domestic, kind, and submissive to their husbands, that the word of God may not be discredited." Titus 2:3-5

Poem taken from: "Apples of Gold" by Betty Huizenga

Do You Worry?


You may have seen this article making it's rounds in the email loops... I wanted to share it here because worry really can infect many parts of our day-to-day living. What are your thoughts? Do you worry?Is there a magic cut-off period when offspring become accountable for their own Actions? Is there a wonderful moment when parents can become detached spectators in the lives of their children and shrug, 'It'sTheir life,' and feel nothing?When I was in my twenties, I stood in a hospital corridor waiting for doctors to put a few stitches in my son's head. I asked, 'When do you stop worrying?' The nurse said, 'When they get out of the accident stage.' My Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.When I was in my thirties, I sat on a little chair in a classroom and heard how one of my children talked incessantly and disrupted the class. I was certain that he was headed for a career making license plates. As if to read my mind, the teacher said, 'Don't worry, they all go through this stage and then you can sit back, relax and enjoy them.' My dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.When I was in my forties, I spent a lifetime waiting for the phone to ring... the cars to come home... the front door to open. A friend said,'They're trying to find themselves. Don't worry, in a few years, you can stop worrying. They'll be adults.' My dad just smiled faintly and said nothing.By the time I was 50, I was sick & tired of being vulnerable. I was still worrying over my children, but there was a new wrinkle. There was nothing I could do about it. My Dad just smiled faintly and said nothing. I continued to anguish over their lives, be tormented by their frustrations and absorbed in their disappointments. My friends said that when my kids were married, I could stop worrying and lead my own life. I wanted to believe that, but I was haunted by my Dad's warm smile and his occasional, 'You look pale. Are you all right? Call me the minute you get home. Are you upset about something?' Can it be that parents are sentenced to a lifetime of worry? Is concern for one another handed down like a torch to blaze the trail of human frailties and the fears of the unknown? Is concern a curse or is it a virtue that elevates us to the highest form of life? One of my children became quite irritable recently, saying to me, 'Where were you? I've been calling for 3 days, and no one answered I was worried.' I smiled a warm smile. The torch has been passed.This article asks the question: "Is concern a curse or is it a virtue...?" I would differentiate between "concern" and "worry"...but the truth is that it is a fine line that divides the two!! I think for those of us who desire to "take every thought captive to the obedience of Christ" (2 Cor 10:5) and to "be anxious for nothing" (Phil.4:6) this can be Satan's playground in our hearts and minds."Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." Matthew 6:34"The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever." Isaiah 32:17"Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid" John 14:27Click here for some interesting research and information on Anxiety and Stress. Do you know researchers are finding that the thickness of your brain can make a difference in your ability to handle stress and fear? [...]



(image) Where has the time gone?? Can it REALLY be 24 years since
we brought you home from the hospital?!
(image) At six months old...could you have been any cuter?? Don't think so!
(image) This has always been one of my favorite birthday pictures of you. Awwww... those memories of Birthdays at Chucky Cheeses! This was Birthday #3.
(image) Our "Muffy in the Middle"
(image) Still likes her "treats". We're so glad you were able to come home over the weekend so we could celebrate your birthday and have a chance to spoil you a little. The fondue dinner was fun and I'm glad you chose berries, cream and angel food cake for your dessert....yummmy!

(image) (image) We are thankful for you and that God brought you into our family. It was sad to be apart today...the first time we haven't been together on your birthday to personally spoil you and help you celebrate. Here are some balloons for you... Just pretend they were hanging from your ceiling fan when you awoke this morning. :-) Glad we got to have a nice visit on the phone today!
We love you very much!!


Homeschool Family


If you know ANYTHING about know there are many sterotypes that come with the territory. This video by Tim Hawkins cracked me up!!

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If you ever get a chance to see Tim in person DO IT!!! Don't!! He puts on a great show...I don't think I've ever laughed so hard in all my life. We still quote him around our house from the skits we saw him do a few years ago. Check out his website.
Special thanks to my Sista for the "heads-up" on this new video. And a special dedication to our dear friend Mimi!! ;-)

Will Wonders Never Cease????


Oh My GOSH!!! Pass me the smelling salts Pleeeeeeease!!!! My wonderful sister AND her lovely daughter posted a comment to my little blog (below)...both in the same day! Will WONDERS NEVER CEASE??!! In the year and a half I have been blogging, this is a first...she has come to visit us AND posted a comment!!! (Of course we won't mention that my neice, Jessica, probably had to show her how to leave a comment.) PLEASE.... all you bloggy friends... leave a kind comment for Lynda & Jessica...WELCOME them to Blogville and entice them to join us in the fun!!! Pleeeeeeeease??!! Maybe you have more pull than I do! Happy Friday to all and have a Great weekend!!
P.S. I don't have a nick name...Sis... remember? Only favored children have a nick name. But I'm not bitter, I put my Big Girl Panties on...I can handle it.

Thanks Spoink!!


A special "Thank you" goes to my sister, "Spoink"! (lovingly named by my brother-not sure where he came up with THAT one!) Of course you wouldn't know this sister, because she does not blog in her "free" time like those of us from Blogville. No, instead, she keeps very busy managing her husband's band.

Anyways, Sis sent me this cute little Hallmark Christmas ornament
she recently found at an "After Christmas Sale".
(image) We are a family of "Do It Yourself-ers" and so she knew we'd get a kick out of this cute work bench ornament.
(image) I know when she saw the nice, orderly, clean workbench that she IMMEDIATELY thought of us. You know the kind of bench you can actually work on because there is ALWAYS a clean work surface to spread out your current project? Because, after all, that is what work benches are work on. Yes, I am certain that is why this workbench reminded her of us.
So thank you my dear Sista for brightening my day. And HAPPY FRIDAY to you!

The Starry Dance


Did you get a chance to peer out early this morning to see a spectacular event in the easter sky? Jupiter & Venus are converging and were at peek viewing before dawn this morning. However, if you missed it, you will have a chance to see the starry dance again over the next few days. I'm afraid my feeble pictures don't do it justice by any means...sorry, these low res files barely show the stars. Plus, I didn't take them until 7am, so they had already begun to give way to sunrise.

Check out this link @ or this Nasa link for general info. Also...A few days ago I received an email from Rick Larson, the producer of the DVD: The Star of Bethlemhem. (the one I gave away before Christmas) Here are a few excerpts from his email...

"This event will be impressive from today until about Monday, February 4, with the closest approach of the planets occurring on Friday, February 1. Enjoy! They say "close only counts in horseshoes and kisses". But here's a pretty cool near miss!

For the next few days you can go out in your own yard and see an event similar to the Star of Bethlehem. Depending upon weather (and sleep habits), you may be able to see a close approach of Jupiter and Venus. Great viewing for the next few days.

To see this spectacle, you'll need to look to the eastern sky just before dawn. Depending upon the terrain where you stand, you may first see the paired stars rising in the east around 5.40a. They'll appear later if there are trees or other obstructions on your horizon. The show will continue until the Sun rises and washes everything out around 7.30a. So there's a good viewing window for many of you, even if you're not normally early risers. Do take a look! You'll probably be out of bed by 7 anyway, so go outside!

Now, how does this compare to the Star of Bethlehem? Here are some helpful units, starting with what you already know, but moving to things you probably DON'T know:

A full circle = 360 degrees
Visible sky = around 180 degrees
Width of a finger held at armslength = about 2 degrees
One degree = 60 arcminutes
Resolving power of unaided human eye = about 3 arcminutes
One arcminute = 60 arcseconds

With that background. You'll see this clearly! On February 1, the planets will be separated by around 35 acrminutes. The resolving power of the unaided human eye is about 3 arcminutes, so they will appear very close, but still separable. The 2 BC Star of Bethlehem occurred when the two planets came within about 35 arcSECONDS of one another. About 60 times closer! The two became inseparable by even the best human eyes."

(Thanks to Bee for the NASA link ;-)

Treadmills are dangerous to your health


This is why I haven't been using my treadmill lately... let's just say it hits alittle too close to home. Let's also note that it is important to keep your eyes OPEN while using your treadmill...or at least hold on if you so choose to close your eyes while using your treadmill. Not that I would know this from personal experience or anything. Nope, not me.
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(Dedicated to Ginger ;-) Thanks for teaching me how to load a video directly to my blog!!)

OR.... maybe if I keep at it I can work my way up to this:
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The Difference Between Men & Women


(image) Brad & I laughed our way through this entire clip... enjoy!! (Especially the "Nothing Box" :-)(image)

Happy New Year!!


HAPPY NEW YEAR!!It appears I'm a little slow on the uptake, but as they always say... "Better late than never!".... err, or was that "Better never late!!"?? No matter...I've decided I am WAY past due in updating my neglected little blog. Now that we have returned from our holiday travels north to visit Ashley & Casey (youngest daughter & SIL) & my brother and his family, I am slowly returning to post-holiday living. Do I even admit that we STILL have Christmas decorations gathered, waiting to be boxed and hidden away for another year? I have high hopes of completing my project to organize and store holiday decor in a more accessible manner than in the past. Wish me luck!! I suppose the success of that project depends somewhat on my ability to tear myself away from another interest we've recently rekindled...working on our family history / genealogy. (more on that later)I guess I'm one of those personality types that struggle with an "all or nothing" challenge in my time management balancing act. I tend to pour myself into the project at hand, sometimes to the neglect of the daily grind of life. Because my projects are usually more fun and creative than cooking and cleaning...I tend to sometimes... well...uuuhhh..."overlook"..."put off"..."neglect"... some of the more mundane tasks facing me. So, that being said, I have been admonishing myself to keep up with my daily disciplines and have enjoyed some success this past week. I began using my computerized calendar program to help me with my task list and schedules (Microsoft Outlook), I've begun my exercising again, and working on consistently completing my daily Bible study for the Ladies Day study of John that resumed last week. Baby steps....So...I won't rattle on any more as I thought I'd catch you up to date by sharing some pictures of what we've been up to over the past 5 weeks. It was a treat to spend time with Ashley, Casey (and Lacey) over Christmas. We just don't get to see them enough!! I had some time to kill one afternoon while Ashley & Casey were at I abused their dog, Lacey, by making her endure a doggy "photo session". :-) I'm sure she'll be happy when the grandkids come along so I will have new subjects to hold hostage.I have to give her credit...she was a pretty good sport and I had fun practicing with her.Lacey has that killer instinct...see...she captured a goose... oh, it's a stuffed toy you say?? Shh, don't tell Lacey, she thinks she's the GREAT WHITE HUNTER!It's always great to have the opportunity to spend time together...Brad & I enjoyed the chance to spend an afternoon with my brother. He taught me how to make a writing pen...from wood...on his lathe. Really neat!! My pen is made from pink wood brought from Africa! We took Ashley's dog for a walk one afternoon and I had fun capturing some neighborhood sights...Christmas time in PA! The snow and cold weather reminded us of growing up in Ohio.Nothing like freshly fallen snow...especially when the weather is mild enough for a walk.This old barn down the street has so much character...couldn't resist.Snow...and more snow...I don't miss THIS part of living where there is snow...the shoveling, the dirt and slush...the driving in it! Notice the hill in the background...certainly NOT a sight you'll see around where we live in Texas. Nope... flat as a pancake here! So I always enjoy being in countryside with some movement to the land. However... Texas does have some great advantages...You don't have to shovel sunshine!! These perky flowers greeted us upon our arrival home ...Awwwww...Christmas time in Texas!!Can you believe we still have flowers blooming!? Although the last picture was flowers from o[...]

We Have A Winner!


Thanks to each of my friends in Blogville that entered my first "give-away". I am very excited for the winner of this gift and pray you and your family are as blessed by this presentation as I have been. I am happy to give THE BETHLEHEM STAR dvd to:

(image) (image)

Lori's name was drawn to receive this send me your address Lori and I'll get this right out to you!

Again, thanks to those who "threw your name in the hat". I know I have been pretty quiet in Blogville the past few months and not had as much chance to get around and share with each of you. However, I do enjoy the times we do get to visit and the encouragement I receive from each of you through this on-line community.

Forgive me for not posting the winning name yesterday...hubby is now home from his business travels and we spent the day together out shopping and running errands. We're trying to get ready for the Celebration of Christ's birth, gift giving and time with family. I pray that we all keep our focus on The Christ of Christmas, and celebrate the greatest gift we will ever receive!

Peace & Blessings to You and Yours!




You have two more days to sign up for the STAR OF BETHLEHEM Christmas DVD give-away!!

Feeling Blue...


Sharing with you our Happy News...
Erin & Micah are expecting a healthy bouncy baby boy!!
(image) I know, I know, Ultrasound pictures always leave you feeling like "okay, what am I looking at here??" But, take our word on this one... Erin and Micah asure us that our grandson is quite active and doing well. We are so thankful for a good report!! And, you know me, I can't make this announcement without posting his FIRST offical picture! Just to let you know, I have dibs on taking his first 100 photos AFTER birth.
P.S. If you haven't signed up for my Christmas Give-Away in my last so NOW!!!

Christmas Give-Away...The Bethlehem Star



I am very excited to host my first ever give-away here on my blog!! I couldn't think of a better gift than to share the Awesomeness of God through this amazing, well researched film on one man's quest for The Star of Bethlehem. We were introduced to this presentation last December when we had the privilege of seeing Rick Larson share his research live, show this film and then answer questions afterwards. Brad and I were amazed, not only in the way Mr. Larson pulled together the information, but at the quality of the presentation. We have purchased 10 copies for gift giving and to share with's just that good!! I have watched this movie at least 7 or 8 times myself and plan to make it an annual tradition to add to our Christmas Celebration.
The thing that spoke to me the most...blew me away actually... was his presentation on what happened in the heavens not only at the time of Christ's birth...but also at His death. We have all heard how the Star of Bethlehem announced the birth of Christ...what stunned me was the proof that God had planned, during the creation of the earth, the exact moment in time His Son would die.
I wish I had enough copies to give away so you would each have a chance to win one! But, alas, only one fortunate soul will be able to receive this copy as a gift. Let me know (in comment section) if you would like to enter my Christmas Give-Away. Let your friends know... I will take entries until December 12th. This movie is now also being marketed in stores such as: Sams, Wal-Mart, Barnes & Noble, and local Christian bookstores.

I like what one reviewer stated about this film on

"A magnificent display of the evidence to support the claims made for the Star of Bethlehem. The presentation is an inquiry without presupposition that engages even the most hostile viewer in an entertaining and easily understandable way. The data and the methods of investigation employed are transparent to anyone wanting to repeat them for themselves - I have and find only more evidence for the claims he makes, the visuals and the music are a delight and the discovery will take your breath away. A great Christmas present for anybody open minded to sorting truth from myth and legend regardless of religious persuasion. The Bible always said the heavens declare the glory of God. If you don't see that, get this DVD. Peter Andersson"

Prayer Request


(image) I have been receiving updates from my sister over the past week on a 15 year old young man recently diagnosed with cancer. I don't know this family personally...but many do and they are loved. God knows and sees the challenging path they have been asked to walk. Please join me in serving this family through prayer for Tyler. Reading the account of his diagnosis and treatment gives me an abrupt reminder of what is important in life, and the privilege of taking each other before the Lord. My parent's heart cried when I read the post from Tyler's father: Have You Hugged Your Child Today?. I needed my perspective changed this week, thank you Lord. Please bless this family and give them strength.

Happy Thanksgiving!


(image) Thanksgiving Blessings to you and yours!!

(Ok, you can see that Hubby has spent his time off this week working on our remodeling project. Yeah!! He's doing a GREAT JOB!! I decided since I can't keep ahead of the dust he produces from sanding in our breakfast area...I would use it to my advantage. Can't lick'm...join'm!)

Thanksgiving Recipes


My friend Joyce requested a few of the following recipes, so I'm posting for her and anyone else who is interested in trying them out. Enjoy!Simple Cranberry Sauce from Cook’s Illustrated(Can be made up to 7 days in advance)3/4 c. water1 c. sugar1/4 t. salt1 (12oz) bag cranberries, picked throughBring water, sugar, and salt to boil in medium non-reactive saucepan over high heat, stirring occasionally to dissolve sugar. Stir in cranberries; return to boil. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until saucy, slightly thickened, and about two-thirds of berries have popped open, about 5 minutes. (Don’t overcook. If using frozen berries, do not defrost them before use; just pick through them and add about 2 minutes to the simmering time) Transfer to non-reactive bowl, cool to room temperature, and serve. (Can be covered and refrigerated up to 7 days; let stand at room temperature 30 minutes before serving.From: Cook’s Illustrated, Improving Cranberry Sauce. November 1, 1999 Yield: 2 1/4 cups - Served Thanksgiving 2003NOTE from Cook's Illustrated: Cranberry-Orange Sauce: Orange juice adds little flavor, but we found the zest and liqueur pack the orange kick we were looking for in this sauce. Follow recipe for Simple Cranberry Sauce, heating 1 T. grated orange zest with sugar mixture. Off heat; stir in 2 T. orange liqueur (such as Triple Sec or Grand Marnier).Thanksgiving Cranberry Salad1 c. hot water1 c. pineapple juice from canned pineapple1 (3 oz) pkg lemon Jello1 (16 oz) pkg cranberries, grind in food processor1 c. sugar1 c. crushed pineapple (in own juice-reserve juice)1 c. celery, finely chopped1/2 c. chopped pecans or walnutsCombine hot water, pineapple juice and Jello. Let set while preparing the remaining ingredients. Mix all ingredients except Jello. Add gelatin and stir. Chill several hours or overnight in refrigerator.Favorite Pumpkin – Cranberry Bread (FREEZES WELL!!!)3 1/2 flour3/4 c. packed brown sugar2 t. baking soda1 t. baking powder1 t. cinnamon3/4 t. salt1/2 t. ground cloves3 eggs1 (16oz) can whole berry cranberry sauce1 (15oz) can pumpkin puree (a GREAT variation is to use 1/2 can pumpkin and 4 oz of Mott’s Healthy Harvest Granny Smith unsweetened applesauce)1/3 c. canola oil1 T. orange zest, finely grated2 T. chopped nuts (pecans)Preheat oven to 350. In large bowl, combine dry ingredients. In another bowl, combine wet ingredients. Add egg mixture to flour mixture until just moistened. Top with nuts. Spray 2 loaf pans w/ oil spray. Pour 1/2 batter into each pan. Bake 45-50 min or until tester comes out clean. Or you can bake in greased muffin tins. Enjoy!! From: Houston Chronicle Freezes Well!!Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins½ c. sliced unbalanced almonds – toasted1 2/3 c. flour1 c. sugar1 T. pumpkin pie spice1 t. baking soda¼ t. baking powder¼ t. salt2 large eggs1 c. canned pumpkin (half of a 1 lb can)½ stick butter, melted1 c. chocolate chipsHeat oven to 350 degrees. Grease muffin tin-will make 12 regular or 24 mini muffins. Mix flour, sugar, pie spice, baking soda, Erin ~ October 1982 powder and salt. Break eggs into another bowl then add pumpkin and butter. Whisk until well blended. Stir in choc. Chips and nuts. Pour over the dry ingredients and fold in with a spatula until dry ingredients are moistened. Scoop batter evenly into muffin cups. Bake 20-25 minutes. Cool on rack and place in plastic bag-will keep 2 days. Reheat before serving.Spice Cookies, Muffins or Cake (Weight Watchers Recipe)1 box spice cake mix (or you can use brownie [...]

Please Be Advised...


" To All Our Family and Friends,Just a note to let you know we are hoping to see you Thanksgiving, however, Martha Stewart will not be dining with us this year. I thought it best to give you advance warning. Since Ms. Stewart won't be coming, I've made a few small changes: Our sidewalk will not be lined with homemade, paper bag luminaries. After a trial run, it was decided that no matter how cleverly done, rows of flaming lunch sacks do not have the desired welcoming effect.Once inside our home, you will notice that the entry hall is not decorated with the swags of Indian corn and fall foliage I had planned to make. Instead, I've gotten the kids involved in the decorating by having them track in colorful autumn leaves from the front yard. (The mud was their idea.)The dining table will not be covered with expensive linens, fancy china, or crystal goblets. If possible, we will use dishes that match and everyone will get a fork. Since this IS Thanksgiving, we will refrain from using the plastic Peter Rabbit plate and the Santa napkins from last Christmas.Our centerpiece will not be the tower of fresh fruit and flowers that I had hoped for. Instead we will be displaying a hedgehog-like decoration hand-crafted from the finest construction paper. The artist assures me it is a turkey.We will be dining fashionably late. The children will entertain you while you wait. I'm sure they will be happy to share every choice comment I have made regarding Thanksgiving, pilgrims and the turkey hot line. Please remember that most of these comments were made at 5:00 a.m. upon discovering that the turkey was still hard enough to cut diamonds.As accompaniment to the children's recital, I will play a recording of tribal drumming. If the children should mention that I don't own a recording of tribal drumming, or that tribal drumming sounds suspiciously like a frozen turkey in a clothes dryer, ignore them. They are lying.We toyed with the idea of ringing a dainty silver bell to announce the start of our feast. In the end, we chose to keep our traditional method. We've also decided against a formal seating arrangement with engraved place cards. When the smoke alarm sounds, please gather around the table and sit where you like. In the spirit of harmony, we will ask the children to sit at a separate table. In a separate room. Next door.Now, I know you have all seen the Norman Rockwell version of Dad carving a turkey in front of a crowd of appreciative on-lookers. This will not be happening at our dinner table. For safety reasons, the turkey will be carved in a private ceremony. I stress "private" meaning: Do not, under any circumstances, enter the kitchen to laugh at me. Do not send small, unsuspecting children to check on my progress. I have an electric knife. The turkey is unarmed.It stands to reason that I will eventually win. When I do, we will eat.I would like to take this opportunity to remind my young diners that "passing the rolls" is not a football play. Nor is it a request to bean your sister in the head with warm tasty wad of dough.Oh, and one last reminder for the adults: For the duration of the meal, and especially while in the presence of young diners, we will refer to the giblet gravy by its lesser-known name: Cheese Sauce. If a young diner questions you regarding the origins or type of Cheese Sauce, plead ignorance. Cheese Sauce stains everything.Before I forget, there is one last change. Instead of offering a choice of 12 different scrumptious[...]

Three Different Pumpkin Cheesecake Recipes


More "Pumpkin" Recipes... Pumpkin Cheesecake(Annual Favorite!)Crust:1/4 c. butter1 1/2 c. Bisquick2 T. sugarFilling:1 pkg(8oz) cream cheese,soft3/4 c. sugar2 T. flour1 t. ground cinnamon1/4 t. ground nutmeg1/4 t. ground ginger1/4 t. vanilla3 eggs1 (16oz) can pumpkinSour Cream Topping: beat all until smooth1 1/2 c. sour cream2 T. sugar1/2 t. vanilla (beat all till smooth)Heat oven to 350°. Cut butter into baking mix and 2 T. sugar until mixture resembles fine crumbs. Pat in bottom of un-greased square pan, 9x9x2. Bake 10 min. Beat cream cheese, sugar, flour until creamy. Beat in remaining ingredients (except topping) until smooth; pour over crust. Bake until knife inserted in center comes out clean, about 55 min. Immediately spread with Sour Cream Topping. Refrigerate at least 4 hours. Refrigerate any remaining dessert. 12 servings~~~~~~~~~~~Pumpkin Cheesecake9 oz. Gingersnap cookies (48 cookies)2 T + 1 1/3 c. sugar4 T. unsalted butter, melted3 (8oz) pkg cream cheese, softened1 can (15 oz) pumpkin puree1 1/2 t. vanilla4 large eggs1 1/2 t. cinnamon1 t. ground ginger1/2 t. ground nutmeg1/4 t. ground allspice1/4 t. saltPreheat oven to 375 degrees. In a food processor, combine the gingersnaps and 2 T. of sugar and pulse until finely ground. Add butter and process until the crumbs are thoroughly moistened. Press the crumb mixture evenly over the bottom and slightly up the sides of the 9” spring form pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Transfer pan to wire rack to cool. Lower the oven temp to 300 degrees. In a large bowl, with electric mixer, beat cream cheese and 1 1/3 c. sugar until creamy. Beat in the pumpkin and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating well. Mix in all spices and salt. Pour batter into the prepared shell. Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour and 20 min. or until set around edges. (it will be slightly wobbly in the center) Set cheesecake on a wire rack – completely cool. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours. Run a knife around the inside edge before removing the cake. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Pumpkin Swirl Cheesecake(can be made several days ahead-or frozen three months ahead!)Crust: 8 whole graham crackers1/2 c. whole hazelnuts, toasted (spread on cookie sheet & bake @ 350 for 10-15 min. until lightly browned & papery skins begin to flake. Turn out onto a towel and rub off skins)1/4 c. sugar & 4 T. butter, cut upFilling:2 (8oz) pkg reduced fat cream cheese, soften1 c. sugar2 T. cornstarch2 t. vanilla1/2 c. reduced fat sour cream2 lg eggs & whites from 2 lg eggs3/4 c. white chocolate chips1 (15oz) can solid pack pumpkin3/4 t. ground cinnamon1/2 t. ground ginger1/8 t. each: ground cloves & nutmegGarnish: chocolate dessert decorations (chocolate leaves & hazelnuts)Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly coat 8” spring form pan with oil spray. (*TIP: wrap foil over bottom & halfway up outside of spring form pan to keep butter in crust from dripping into oven.)Crust: Break crackers into food processor. Add hazelnuts, sugar & butter. Process until fine crumbs form. Press firmly over bottom & 1 1/2” up sides of prepared pan. May bake for short time while oven preheats. Filling: Beat cream cheese in a large bowl with mixer on high speed until smooth. On low speed, beat in sugar, cornstarch, vanilla & sour cream, scrapping down sides of bowl often until well blended. Add eggs and egg whites; beat just until mixed. Melt the chocolate chips according to package dir[...]

"Not-Too-Sweet" Potato Casserole


(Note: To BEE and those of you wondering what on earth the last photo I posted was about...check my explanation under the comments.)

(image) I thought I'd post a recipe I found a few years ago and has become a Thanksgiving favorite. This is a great alternative for those who don't care for the overly sweet-marshmellowy sweet potato offering. Enjoy!

3 lbs (about 6 medium) sweet potatoes, peeled, halved lengthwise, 1/4” slices
6 T. unsalted butter, melted
2 T. honey
3 T. molasses
1/2 t. powdered ginger
3/4 t. salt
1/8 t. cayenne pepper, optional (original recipe called for 1/4 t.)
1 1/2 T. cornstarch

Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 375 degrees. In large pot or Dutch oven of boiling water, parboil sweet potato slices over high heat until they are bright orange and the point of a paring knife easily pierces but does not break apart a few slices, 4 to 5 minutes. Drain potatoes well and turn into buttered 13x9” baking dish. Whisk melted butter, honey, molasses, ginger, salt and cayenne in a small bowl; set aside. Mix cornstarch with 2 T. cold water in small bowl until totally smooth, then whisk into butter mixture; pour over sweet potatoes and toss to coat well. Cover dish tightly with foil and bake until liquid is bubbly, about 50 minutes. Remove foil, stir potatoes gently, and bake until liquid thickens to glaze potatoes, about 20 minutes longer. Cool slightly and serve hot or at room temperature.

From: Cook’s Illustrated Internet site, Served for Thanksgiving, November 2003.

(NOTE: For Maple taste substitute maple syrup for the honey and molasses.)

Pecan Topping-(optional) Whisk 6 T. light brown sugar and 1/4 c. flour in small bowl. Add 4 T. very cold butter, cut into 1/4” pieces, and toss to coat; pinch between fingertips until mixture is crumbly and resembles coarse cornmeal. Stir 1/2 c. chopped pecans into mixture; cover and refrigerate until ready to use. Follow recipe for Sweet Potato Casserole, sprinkling cold topping mixture over potatoes after removing foil. Continue with recipe, baking until topping is crisp and dark golden brown, about 20 minutes longer.