Thinking about my grandma

As I was cooking the Thanksgiving meal using recipes from my laptop computer, I got to thinking about my mom and grandma.  I am certain they NEVER used a laptop to view their thanksgiving recipes!  They probably had a card file, or a  notebook filled with recipes cut from magazines, or handwritten from friends and relatives.

I then thought how my grandma’s life was probably much simpler, more difficult in many regards since she did not have many of the modern conveniences I have……like a dishwasher, self cleaning stove, washer and dryer, garbage disposal, and a microwave!

And those are just things in the kitchen that make life easier.

But despite the hardships of the depression, and the hard work needed to complete everyday mundane tasks, I find myself looking upon those days with a certain envy.  I am certain she did not have ALL the distractions of my fast, crazed pace of life.  No texting in the middle of the day, multi-tasking was not much of a priority, no taxi driving kids to all their activities, no remote to distract you with 500+ channels of TV and , no emails to return, and NO Facebook, blogs, Twitter, Skype, or Cyber Monday!


Tough, but simple!  And as the Christmas season beckons us, I am reminded to slow things down, and enjoy the SIMPLE beauty of the season. Life with out so many distractions, life that can focus on the manger and the dear savior who laid in that SIMPLE box.

Jesus born in a simple manger, in a simple stable, that sounds like a good place to start my thinking of simpler days!

My Grandma is in the red and my mom is the 2nd one from the left, with the black hairCan’t imagine my grandma ever thought she would appear on the internet! 🙂


It is good to be children sometimes, and never better than at Christmas, when its mighty founder was a child Himself.~Charles Dickens

Giving Thanks!

Tomorrow is Thanksgiving…….I am cooking, and I am close to being ready.  I made this Y-U-M-M-Y Cranberry Shortbread last night, and of course I snitched a little bit of it fresh out the oven!  Shhh don’t tell anyone, no one will ever notice the little missing spot! 🙂

And tomorrow I am making apple crisp, mashed potatoes, turkey, gravy, corn casserole and lots of the other  traditional fixins.  It should be a nice day, filled with food, fun, football, and FAMILY.

But I am thinking there is so much more to the day then food and family.  I  had such a bad attitude about work this week, and that attitude had trickled into my home life also.  I have been far from thankful for much of anything.  But last night while out for my usual power walk, I was praying about my attitude.   I was praying about being better NOT bitter!  And as I prayed, and prayed, and prayed ( this attitude was pretty stubborn) my  attitude began to disappear.  And suddenly I could actually think in terms of truly being thankful.

I realized once again that being thankful is a attitude.  How is your attitude this THANKSgiving?

I am truly thankful for simply being able to BE thankful! 🙂

Friday Fave Five

I can not believe it’s Friday already!

For more Friday Favs please stop by and visit Susanne at Living to Tell the Story.

Some interesting Faves this week;

Last weekend my kids attended a national purity/modesty conference for teens.  It’s called Pure Freedom, I love the object lessons they do to promote sexual purity.  The girl group even had a fashion show with trendy, modest clothes.  The Inventor got picked to model one of the outfits.  I truly believe the entire conference from the speakers to the activities and the energetic worship all had a huge impact on my kids life.  The only big complaint was, there was NOT enough food!  If Pure Freedom comes your way, send your kids if they are 12 and over!

I made this yummy pumpkin bread this week.  As far as I am concerned you can never go wrong with pumpkin bread.  I also add a little orange glaze to the top of the loaf.  I  mix 1 1/2 c. of powdered sugar, 2-3 tablespoons of OJ and orange zest together and pour over the top of the bread.  Mmmmmmmmm!


This post is also one of my faves this week!


Basketball season starts today!  SportTman has tryouts this week for the JV team, they asked him as a 9th grader to tryout for the JV team, not the 9th grade team.  I am thinking the fact that he is approaching 6 ft 2 in. may have something to do with it!!! 🙂

And this Fave is actually something that is coming up this weekend.  Our quaint small town has several church bazaars this weekend.  The Inventor and I have been going to the same 2 church bazaar for years.  It’s become a nice little tradition for the two of us.  I am really looking forward to a Mom/Daughter day at the Christmas bazaars.


And I must also mention another quick fav this week…..Drums and I  escaped the usual weekday chaos and went to a wonderful restaurant literally 3 min away that serves the best homemade desserts.  We went for dessert and coffee one night and really enjoyed our short, but needed date night!

How was your week dear friends???

5 minutes in a car

I was thinking about something The Inventor told me the other day, and that reminded me of  something SportTman and I had been discussing.  It was at that point I realized that both of these insightful, bonding conversations took place during our drive to school in the morning.

I am so fortunate to teach in the same school district/school my kids attend!  We drive in to school together every morning.  Some mornings we even stop for a bagel and coffee at my fav local coffee shop, or a donut at Dunkin Donuts ……but what is actually better than the coffee, donuts and bagels is our conversations.

I pray for the kids every morning while we drive in together.  We talk about our day and what lies ahead, the good and the bad, we observe our town, and just savor a brief but increasing special time together each morning.  Now that I am the mom of teens, I see such VALUE in just spending time together and talking and interacting during that time.  Not just cranking up the radio and guzzling down coffee on the way to school, but talking……..what a treasure!

Talking to Teens is certainly something to Treasure!

And on this Thursday before Thanksgiving, that is something I am thankful for today!

Here is a fun picture of SportTman and Drums in my classroom before school in the  morning.


Friday Fave Five

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I am so thankful for Friday this week!

I was out for a power walk last night and was thinking about my favorite things for the week.  I concluded that I must mention my new socks.  I could not find a good picture of them, but they are Nike socks with arch support and they wick away the sweat ( They are called Dri-Fit).  I just love them, actually if I could I would wear them to school, but since they are white they would look a bit silly with my black dress shoes! 🙂  They are just that comfortable!

Last week was a special sports dress down day at school.   Here is one of my favorite pictures of my son, hubby and I all wearing our Phillies gear.  It’s so fun that we all “go” to the same school!

phillies

The Inventor had her cross country banquet this week.  I did the slide show for the banquet.  The latest version of iPhoto has a really cool and EASY theme option called “Shatter” that transitions the pictures automatically.  It was so simple to put the slide show together, and it was a hit with the parents and kids!

My son got these sweet new shoes for basketball season!  And they were purchased by the easiest shopping method I know.  They are the “team” shoe, so he got a huge discount on a quality shoe.  I sent in an order form 2 weeks ago, and he got them at practice last night.  The coach handed them out before practice so they could all wear them.  I loved it, he came home a sweaty basketball player with cool shoes.  I never had to take him out shopping and trying on shoes for hours.  Did I mention that these shoes are HUGE, size 13….. they fit great!

And last, I am heading out the door to school and it’s fruit and doughnut day in the faculty room.  It’s those little treats  in life that seem to go a long way! 🙂

How was your week dear friends???  For more Friday Fave Five please stop by Susanne’s and you must also check out her picture of some wonderful homemade spaghetti sauce!

Brownie Mistakes

chocolate_brownies

I have a brownie recipe that I love and have been using for years.  I am not a fan of boxed mixes( although I have used them for bake sale emergencies!).  However the other day, I must had a major PMS kind of  brain lapse.  I did not MELT the butter as the recipe called for.  I just “softened” it.   Of course I did not realize it until I went to taste the batter, like all wise cooks do, and I realized something “just wasn’t right.”  I looked back over the recipe and realized what I had done.

But here is the shocker of the whole mistake………the beloved brownie recipe actually tasted better than normal!

So my mistake ended being a good thing!

That is how my life often turns out, something that I think is a mistake, or a mess up, frustrating, sad, overwhelming, heartbreaking……God can end up using for GOOD!  What a difference it makes sometimes to keep the end in sight.  The frustrations of this world, can lead us to a deeper relationship with Christ, and THAT is what really matters!!

James 1:12 Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life that God has promised to those who love him.


And now for a YUMMY brownie recipe!

Lets see if I can do it from memory, I have made ’em enough times!  And I must tell you I made them on Tues, and they are now LONG gone and enjoyed.  As brownies should be!

BROWNIES

2 sticks of SOFTENED butter

2 c. sugar

4 eggs

2 tsp. vanilla extract

3/4 c. cocoa

1 c. unbleached flour ( can also use King Arthur’s White Wheat flour to make it more nutritious)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/4 tsp. salt

1 c. choc chips

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 13 x 9 pan.  Mix together softened butter, sugar and vanilla.  Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt, beat well.  (At this point grab  several spoons and sample your yummy chocolate brownie dough)

Pour into prepared pan and Bake  30-35 min.  After 2o min. of baking pour 1 c. of choc. chips over the top of the baking brownie.

EAT while they are still warm!  🙂

Works for Me Wednesday

wfmwbannerKRISTEN

It’s been awhile since I have done WFMW.  But as I broke out my faithful air popper  popcorn maker the other night, I knew I just had to tell you about it!

This $1 yard sale find over 10 years ago has evolved into legendary status in our household.  It’s something family traditions are made of!

popcorn

And it makes the BEST popcorn, it makes microwave popcorn taste like cardboard with lots of calories!

I simply pop the popcorn and mix with 1 stick of melted butter ( yes 1 stick! This is how the popcorn has acquired legendary status in my family!) and salt. Then serve hot during a family movie.  My kids still ( they are 14 and 12) clamor for this favorite.  This popcorn maker is more than just a small appliance to make popcorn with, it’s something that makes great family memories.   And with the holidays approaching I thought you too may want to purchase your own “family, memory maker.” 🙂

It’s a simple special treat that I can bless my family with….and that Works For Me!