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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Welcome, Jenna!!!

She's here! Jenna has joined all the family and friends in "blog land." She's made her first great post. Check it out.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

Tell me now; I'l like to know.
How does your garden grow?
With little tomatoes, and some squash,
And pretty onions all in a row.

Although our gardening started out pretty rough with several storms and replants, things are now looking up! We are confident this is the best little garden we have ever had. 

Monday, April 27, 2009

                      Happy Birthday, Rick!

Friday, April 24, 2009

Cupcake Craze

Magnolia Bakery is famous for making some of the best cupcakes in the country… This past December while visiting NYC we waited in line with other crazy people to get in their door to make a purchase. This was my first attempt to duplicate them. I was pleasantly surprised! Here is their recipe for a great treat!

Red Velvet Cupcakes

3 1/2 cups cake flour (not self-rising) 3/4 cup (1 1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 2 ½ cups sugar 3 large eggs, at room temperature 6 tbsp red food coloring 3 tbsp unsweetened cocoa 1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract 1 1/2 tsp salt 1 1/2 cups buttermilk 1 1/2 tsp cider vinegar 1 1/2 tsp baking soda 1 batch Creamy Vanilla Frosting (see below)

Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease and lightly flour 2 cupcake pans (24 cupcakes).

To make the batter: In a small bowl, sift the cake flour and set aside. In a large bowl, on the medium speed of an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar until very light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. In a small bowl, whisk together the red food coloring, cocoa, and vanilla. Add to the batter and beat well.

In a measuring cup, stir the salt into the buttermilk. Add to the batter in three parts alternating with the flour. With each addition, beat until the ingredients are incorporated, but do not overbeat. In a small bowl, stir together the cider vinegar and baking soda. Add to the batter and mix well. Using a rubber spatula, scrape down the batter in the bowl, making sure the ingredients are well blended and the batter is smooth.

Divide the batter among the prepared pans. Arrange the oven racks in the upper and lower thirds of the oven and bake the cupcakes, switching positions of the pans halfway through baking, until a tester comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool the cupcakes in the pan 10 minutes, then remove from the pan and cool completely on a rack before icing. To ice, mound about 1/4 cup of frosting on top of each cupcake and use an icing spatula to make a swirl on top. If desired, decorate with colored sprinkles.

Creamy Vanilla Frosting

6 tablespoons all-purpose flour 2 cups milk 2 cups (4 sticks) unsalted butter, softened 2 cups sugar 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

In a medium-size saucepan, whisk the flour into the milk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, stirring constantly, cook until the mixture becomes very thick and begins to bubble, 10-15 minutes. Cover with waxed paper placed directly on the surface and cool to room temperature, about 30 minutes.

In a large bowl, on the medium high speed of an electric mixer, beat the butter for 3 minutes, until smooth and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating continuously for 3 minutes until fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat well.

Add the cooled milk mixture, and continue to beat on the medium high speed for 5 minutes, until very smooth and noticeably whiter in color. Cover and refrigerate for 15 minutes (no less and no longer—set a timer!). Use immediately.

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Thursday, April 23, 2009

He Gets a "Yes" on camera!

A couple of questions: Who likes surprises? How many of us would enjoy sitting in front of a live television camera? One young anchorwoman recently got a BIG surprise. Her boyfriend interrupted the local broadcasting with some late breaking news of his own. This is great! Watch the video.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Flowerbed Fun!

Glory just hanging out watching all the work!

Ferg and Papa just hanging out watching all the work!

Jonah finishing up. He loves water hoses!

Monday, April 20, 2009

1. Nanna time with Jonah and Glory
2. a clean patio
3. chicken enchiladas
4. blooming flowers
5. baked cookies
6. visiting with friends
7. Randy's wedding
8. Caleb's birth
9. worship time
10. a nice drive

Friday, April 17, 2009

Snickers Salad

Made this for the first time this week. Now this is my kind of salad!

1- 12 oz. tub Cool Whip, thawed
1 c. milk
1 large package french vanilla pudding mix, instant
1 bag of mini-snickers(or your favorite caramel-filled candy bars)
3 apples

Chop the snickers into small chunks. (Let's see how many go into your mouth.)

In a mixing bowl, beat the milk and pudding mix for a few minutes, or until completely mixed and smooth. Fold in the cool whip with a spatula. Chunk up the apples into bite-sized pieces (I toss with a dash of lemon juice to keep from turning brown). Add the candy bars and apples to the cool whip mixture and fold them in. Bananas are also an option.

Refrigerate for a couple of hours before serving. Can add chocolate shavings to the top. Enjoy!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Simon Cowell judge no more!

This is a fantastic clip. If you have not seen or heard about this wonderful Scotland woman, grab a kleenex and get ready to watch a performance of a lifetime. Susan Boyle is her name. She is a 47-year-old church volunteer from West Lothian that has become an unlikely overnight singing sensation with millions watching her perform online. She's competing on Britain's Got Talent.

Susan stunned the Britain audience with a standing ovation performance this week from the first words out of her mouth. During the introductions, you could see the expressions and skepticism on all of their faces. Her song not only left the judges and audience speechless, it hopefully shamed them (and perhaps us) for being so cynical and judgmental as she walked out on the stage. What a performance. She's got my vote!!!

Click to watch her performance.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

God's Grace Abounds

God's grace is His love He extends to us daily! Do we thank Him daily for it?

"Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone)" by Chris Tomlin -- playlist #3.

Amazing grace
How sweet the sound
That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost, but now I'm found
Was blind, but now I see
'Twas grace that taught my heart to fear
And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear
The hour I first believed
My chains are gone
I've been set free
My God, my Savior has ransomed me
And like a flood His mercy rains
Unending love, Amazing grace

The Lord has promised good to me
His word my hope secures
He will my shield and portion be
As long as life endures

The earth shall soon dissolve like snow
The sun forbear to shine
But God, Who called me here below
Will be forever mine
Will be forever mine
You are forever mine.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Tale of the Tomatoes


This is a story that only a gardener will appreciate. I would like to acknowledge the contributions made to the events documented in the story, I must thank my gardening buddy, Pam. Also, I must acknowledge Jerry to which we owe a great deal for his contributions that led to a positive outcome in this tale.

Chapter 1

Thanks to a couple of heavy frosts recently, Pam and I lost all our tomato plants. After I checked six or seven stores with no luck for replacements, Pam finally found some in Frisco yesterday and got them replanted for us late yesterday afternoon.

Chapter 2

Then.....the weather forecast came through no more than a couple of hours later last night. We got the forecast for rain, high winds, and possible hail. Shortly thereafter, the rain hit. Jerry and I were determined to save the plants. We were frantically brainstorming how we could cover the new little plants. I had no traditional things gardeners usually use like cans, milk cartons, etc. AH........tea glasses! We carried out all the large tea glasses in the house and covered them. Yes, during the rain and wind.

Chapter 3

Today after Easter lunch, I went out with pants rolled up and no shoes to retrieve the glasses. Every one of our precious little tomato plants had survived!


The sun is still out as of 7:00 p.m. this evening. The dishwasher has been unloaded, and all the tea glasses are back in the cabinet. However.....the weather on the evening news has just said there is a storm with high winds and hail in Gainesville moving southeast towards us. We are now getting the tea glasses back out!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

Rick's On the Road

Rick and a friend flew to Palm Beach, Florida yesterday morning for three days. They will be attending the Barrett Jackson Auction. Rick was pretty fired up about this. He has watched it on television for years; that's the only reason I even knew what it was when he said he was going. Although it is labeled as an automobile auction, other items including trucks, motorcycles, airplanes, and engines are sold at the auction. Starting in 2007, the auction also sold boats, rock and roll memorabilia, and other things. It is widely believed that the high visibility of the auction has caused the prices of vintage cars to rise greatly in the last several years.

You can check out some of the cars to be auctioned at the Gallery.

P.S. I told him to sit on his hands during the auction each day!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Sibling Celebration

Tomorrow, April 10, is National Sibling Day. It is similar to Brothers and Sisters Day which is celebrated on May 2nd. It is a day to appreciate and cherish your brothers and sisters. Siblings are truly a special blessing that we probably all too often take for granted. They are often our best friends and supporters through life. Another reason to celebrate is that not everyone is lucky enough to have siblings. Their lives are significantly different growing up and throughout life.

Each of our family members is fortunate to have brothers and/or sisters:

Rick, Tim and Marci
Jerry, Diana and Marilyn
Rickie, Roger and Randy
Justin and Jenna
Keelie and John
Greg and Chad
Jonah and Glory

Let's reach out and touch. Visit them if they live nearby. Call them; send them a card, text, or email in the next day or so. Share a favorite sibling story!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Anniversary Memory

April 11 is approaching. It is our parents' anniversary. I have a very special memory of April 11, 1990. At the time, Daddy was sick and unable to go out for the special day. I remember that day when he told Mother to go get him a $1.00. Although she couldn't imagine what he needed money for, she obliged him and went to her purse returning with a one dollar bill. He took the bill exchanging it for a $50. He then proceeded to give it back to her followed by a kiss. He was giving her a dollar for each of the 49 years they had been married. He died three days later. A great example of his humor and spirit of giving!

Monday, April 6, 2009

"The List"

I thought today would be an appropriate day for reviewing Jerry's Top Ten Food List. His three-week visit is quickly approaching the half-way mark. The list is 90% complete. Among the things we have crossed off are mashed potatoes, pancakes, chili, Hershey's Dark Chocolate, and chocolate chip cookies.

The only remaining thing is Long John Silver's. Sherman recently demolished theirs to make way for Walgreens. He said he will check in Frisco while he is running errands there. I wouldn't bother; but then it would not have made my list at all. Let's go for some Red Lobster, Pappadeaux, Huck's, anything but Long John's!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A Moment to Reflect

I took a few minutes this morning to reflect on the week thus far. I mentally listed some really good things that occurred. Why not share them!

1. Had a meal with Justin, Keelie, Jonah, and Glory.
2. Had several meals with Jerry.
3. Had a meal with Jenna.
4. Had a meal with Marilyn and Greg.

Ok....... Jesus loved fellowship and breaking of bread. So all these meals are biblical, right? Continue on.....

4. Got to judge at Loy Lake.
5. Began a new bible study with some special women.
6. Enjoyed several opportunities to "Be Still."

It's already been a great week, and there's more to come!