Wednesday, November 30, 2011

LACE - A Merry Little Christmas

Sharing Jen's Photography Again!  She is such an amazing photographer!   These sure do brighten my day!  

Jen is an absolutely amazing photographer who lives in Fort Worth, Texas.  You just have to check out her web page and see her fabulous work.  And if you by any chance live in her area, you will want to take advantage of her giftedness.

Joining Trish for LACE

This meme is for encouraging one another and is based on Philippians 4:8 
Whatever is..Lovely. Admirable. Cheerful. Encouraging. ~ LACE

Have a Blessed Day,


Monday, November 28, 2011

A Gingerbread Christmas

A Gingerbread Christmas

The Christmas decorating has begun.  I have always loved these Baker's Street (Midwest of Cannon Falls) gingerbread dishes and mugs which I purchased in New York while living there years ago.  I wished I had purchased more of the set because I cannot seem to find any more of the collection anywhere.  The Gingerbread House is actually a cookie jar given to us by our neighbors a few years back.
They had no idea that I decorated with gingerbread.  I was elated!

Joining Marty @

Joining Shannon at

Have a Blessed Day,

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Foodie Friday - Broken Glass Dessert

Broken Glass Dessert

1 (3 oz.) package each Lime, Cherry, Orange Jell-O 
4 c. boiling water
1 1/2 c. cold water
1 package (3 oz.) Lemon Jell-O
1/4 c. sugar
1/2 c. pineapple juice
1 1/2 c. graham cracker crumbs
1/3 c. melted butter
2 c. Cool Whip
Prepare 3 flavors of Jell-O separately, using 1 c. boiling water and 1/2 c. cold water for each.  Pour each flavor into 8" square pans.  Chill until firm, or overnight.

Then combine the lemon gelatin, sugar and remaining 1 c. boiling water; stir until gelatin and sugar are dissolved.  Stir in pineapple juice.  Chill until slightly thickened.  Meanwhile, mix the crumbs and melted butter; press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan.  Save a little to sprinkle on the top if you wish.

Cut the firm gelatins into 1/2" cubes.  Blend Cool Whip with lemon gelatin.  Fold in gelatin cubes.  Pour into pan.  Chill at least 5 hours or overnight. Run knife around or spatula between sides of dessert and pan, and remove side of pan before serving.  

My husband's Aunt Edna used to make this for us on our visits to Atlanta.  Now beautiful and impressive is this dessert, not to mention delicious!    I make this with sugar-free gelatin.  A great dessert for the Christmas season!  
Linking up to:
FOODIE FRIDAY Click for details

Have a Blessed Day,

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Abraham Lincoln's Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Proclamation of Thanksgiving

Washington, D.C.
October 3, 1863

This is the proclamation which set the precedent for America's national day of Thanksgiving. During his administration, President Lincoln issued many orders similar to this. For example, on November 28, 1861, he ordered government departments closed for a local day of thanksgiving.

Sarah Josepha Hale, a 74-year-old magazine editor, wrote a letter to Lincoln on September 28, 1863, urging him to have the "day of our annual Thanksgiving made a National and fixed Union Festival." She explained, "You may have observed that, for some years past, there has been an increasing interest felt in our land to have the Thanksgiving held on the same day, in all the States; it now needs National recognition and authoritive fixation, only, to become permanently, an American custom and institution."

Prior to this, each state scheduled its own Thanksgiving holiday at different times, mainly in New England and other Northern states. President Lincoln responded to Mrs. Hale's request immediately, unlike several of his predecessors, who ignored her petitions altogether. In her letter to Lincoln she mentioned that she had been advocating a national thanksgiving date for 15 years as the editor of Godey's Lady's Book.

The document below sets apart the last Thursday of November "as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise." According to an April 1, 1864, letter from John Nicolay, one of President Lincoln's secretaries, this document was written by Secretary of State William Seward, and the original was in his handwriting. On October 3, 1863, fellow Cabinet member Gideon Welles recorded in his diary how he complimented Seward on his work. A year later the manuscript was sold to benefit Union troops.

By the President of the United States of America.

A Proclamation.
The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God.  In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theatre of military conflict; while that theatre has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defence, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battle-field; and the country, rejoicing in the consiousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens.  And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.
In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed.

Done at the City of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the Unites States the Eighty-eighth.

By the President: Abraham Lincoln

William H. Seward,
Secretary of State

Have a Blessed Thanksgiving Day,

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions



             Mashed Sweet Potatoes with Caramelized Onions

½ cup margarine                                   
2 lbs. yellow onions, thinly sliced           
4 lbs. sweet potatoes, peeled & cubed   
½ cup milk, lowfat
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1/3 c. sour cream, light            

To caramelize the onions, in a large skillet heat ¼ c. of the margarine.  Add onions and cook, stirring frequently, until golden brown.  Season with salt and pepper.  Remove from heat and set aside.  Cook the potatoes in a large pot, covered in lightly salted boiling water for 12 minutes or until tender; drain.  Add the remaining ¼ c. margarine to the pot and mash until smooth.  Stir in milk and sour cream and salt and pepper to taste.  Stir in caramelized onions, reserving a few to garnish.  Cook and stir over low heat until heated through.  Transfer to serving dish and top with reserved onions. 

Make ahead:  Prepare potatoes through step 3 stirring into caramelized onions, but do not heat through.  Transfer to a 2 ½-3 quart casserole.  Cover and chill up to 24 hours.  Before serving, bake in a 325 oven for 55-60 minutes or until heated through.

This is one of my new favorite Thanksgiving recipes.  This recipe was given to me by a gal from Youth Haven Ranch here at Picacho Peak, AZ.    

Have A Blessed Thanksgiving, 

Monday, November 14, 2011

Cooking Day with Rae!

A day with Rae started with her birthday gift,  the American Girl Cooking Studio.  
As we sat perusing her new cookbook, we started plotting our cooking day get-together.

And the day finally arrived!  Mr. C. ran to the door shouting, "She's here, she's here!" 
 I guess I am not the only one overjoyed to have her arriving!
 They do have a rather special relationship.  

Let's Begin!

We were off to a great start with menu planning and the timing of the meal.  Rae couldn't help
doing a little sketching on the menu planning sheet.  She wanted us to see her best artwork
and so she phoned  her Dad to bring her sketchbook when they came for dinner.
 We were very impressed with her fine artwork!
Our Menu
Tossed Salad, Grilled Chicken, Twice-baked Potatoes, Green Beans
Autumn Cupcakes, Mixed Berry Crisp, Ice Cream
Water, Tea, Soda

    We started with dessert first icing and decorating autumn cupcakes.
We found these great wrappers online when we google-searched cupcake wrappers.
They have a pretty interesting selection of cupcake wrappers online.

On to the Twice-Baked Potatoes..these bakers were extremely large!  

And now for the Tossed Salad, make-your-own style.  

Table Setting

Clean-up!  Rae actually likes doing the dishes!  
After the work was done, we took some time to games, scoop ball,  and a walk with the dog.  We did have such a special day together!  Friendships are one of God's riches blessings here on earth!  

Dear Mrs. C!
Thank you for the lots of fun we had yesterday. It was so much fun!  Say hi and thank you to Mr. C! That was fun playing the games on the computer, and the ball catcher thing. And of course it was fun to be just with you, Mr. C, and Ivy! I miss you!
Love, RaeAnna

Hi RaeAnna,
I am so glad that we finally got to spend some time together yesterday.  It was just great being able to have you with us for the day.  I had such a great time cooking and playing games with you.  You are a delightful young lady.  It was also great being able to have some time together with your whole family.  We rather like having them all to ourselves once in a while.  The whole day and evening was so enjoyable!
Love you dearly,   Mrs. C.  (Mr. C. and Ivster)

Dear Mrs. C.
I'm glad we could finally spend time together too. I loved everything about it. My mom said she enjoyed the night off of cooking! I miss you! Hope to see you soon!
Love you lots, RaeAnna



 Growing Home  

Have a Blessed Day,

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Shrimp Creole

Shrimp Creole

1/2 medium green pepper
1 small onion, chopped
1 can Delmonte stewed tomatoes
2 tbs. butter
Pinch of garlic powder & thyme
Frozen shrimp (20-30)
1/2 tsp. sugar
Few grains cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste

Saute pepper and onion.  Add tomatoes, seasonings, and simmer 20 minutes.  Add shrimp and cook until shrimp have lost their transparency.  Serve over rice.  A breakfast idea...try this sauce over your breakfast eggs.  I often just make the sauce, which I call, Spanish Sauce, and freeze it in 1-cup portions.  

This is a recipe from my husband's Aunt Mildred.  She was a wonderful cook and baker.  It was a treat to visit her and enjoy her great country cooking.  She made the very best pies!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

LACE - Grandparenting

Whenever we are  thinking on
Philippians 4:8 
Whatever is..Lovely. Admirable. Cheerful. Encouraging. ~ LACE,

we would naturally have to be thinking on our Grandchildren!
We just adore them.  They bring such joy, beauty, and laughter to our lives.
We are so thankful for the times we get to be with them 
and to be able share in their lives.  Our cups overflow!  

Joining Trish for 

Have a Blessed Day,

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

New York Pumpkin - Tabletop Tuesday

I saw this Butterfly Brand Pumpkin Label over at The Graphic Fairy and just knew that I must use this canning label in my Autumn Decorating  (find graphic here.)  This company is very close to where we used to live in Oneida, New York, so I thought I might do a little research to see if this company was still existent. 

The G.J. Olney company traces it's roots back to the 1880's when G.B. Olney and C.F. Floyd started a vegetable canning plant in Westernville, NY. In 1909 George J. Olney, son of G.B. Olney began experimenting with his ideas for better processing machinery for the canning factory.   And yes, the Olneys still are in business, not canning vegetables, but manufacturing canning machinery.

  G.J. Olney, Inc. P.O. Box 280, 9057 Dopp Hill Road, Westernville, NY  13486\

Have a Blessed Day,

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hearts for Home

My Hearts for Home List for this week:

  •   Clean ceiling and floor fans. I think we can now put the floor fans up for the fall.  

  •  Wash wooden blinds and windows on the back side of house again. The wind storm over the weekend  was very unpleasant.   Patio could use a little sprucing up also.

  • Continue preparing with our Ladies' Bible Study on Mondays and our Sunday Evening Evangelism study. Both are just so enjoyable.  I love learning new things.  Prepare my lesson for Middle School Sunday School Class while my husband prepares for his K-2 grade Sunday School.  We often sit together while preparing and chat about our lessons and pray for our students.  

  • Driving a friend to the airport who is traveling to be with her family in Texas for the birth of her new grandchild.

    • Go over list for Saturday's cooking school and dinner.  

    • Just spending some at home time with my husband.  He is such a dear, sweet man!  


    Joining Gae for Hearts for Home Tuesdays

    In her weekly 'Hearts for Home' post she encourages herself and others to commit to
    thinking about what 4-6 things we can be done each week to bring our thoughts,
     prayers and actions to keeping our 'Hearts for Home'.

    Have a Blessed Day,

    Sunday, November 6, 2011

    Seeing Red!

    Yuk, yuk, what is this white stuff on our cacti?? 
      I keep hosing this stuff off and it keeps coming back!I am so frustrated that I am seeing RED!
    I am almost ready to cut them all down. 

    Didn't have the heart to cut this down.  Do you see the heart shaped pads?

    This scale insect produces a crimson dye?  Who would have known?

    Conchineal Dye Bath

    Conchineal dyed coat

    Cochineal dyed silk

    The cochineal (/kɒtʃɨˈniːl/ koch-i-neel or /ˈkɒtʃɨniːl/ koch-i-neel; Dactylopius coccus) is a scale insect in the suborder Sternorrhyncha, from which the crimson-coloured dye carmine is derived. A primarily sessile parasite native to tropical and subtropical South America and Mexico, this insect lives on cacti from the genus Opuntia, feeding on plant moisture and nutrients.
    The insect produces carminic acid that deters predation by other insects. Carminic acid, which occurs as 17-24% of the weight of the dry insects, can be extracted from the insect's body and eggs and mixed with aluminum or calcium salts to make carmine dye (also known as cochineal).[1] Carmine is today primarily used as a food colouring and for cosmetics.

    Well, I can either scrape the scale off and use it for dye or food coloring (probably not), or I can spray the cacti with dish soap which I understand usually makes the bugs sick and they dehydrate and die.  I think I might try to dish soap remedy.  I hope this works.  Well, this certainly turned out to be an interesting investigation.

    Joining Shanda at Pause on the Path for

    Have a Blessed Day,                                                                              
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