Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Love, Laughter, and Memories

There are lots of things in my life that I have had to learn at an early age.  I just had my 39th birthday 2 days ago.  I don't feel 39, I don't feel 29, there are days I think I should be back in high school. (I'm so gald I'm not though!)  I had a very scary epiphany after my 25th birthday; I realized my own mortality.  I became an orphan 4 days later when my mother passed away at the age of 49.  My father passed away 5 years earlier at the age of 44.  Part of my bucket list is to live past the age of 50.  Because of my parents passing away at such young ages, I took a hard look at myself. 

What I found was the need for love, laughter, and memories.  I know God said in 1 Corinthians 13 that 'the greatest of these is love', for a reason.  Love is the marrow of life.  When I let God's love flow through me, not only are others blessed, but I am too.  Laughter lightens your spirit and "increases your face value".  (that's from Steele Magnolias, one of the greatest movies of all time!  I cry every time I watch it.)  Memories...so important.  Memories are passed down from one generation to the next and help to link us to those who have gone before us.  Memories made with my family are my favorites.  That is one reason I have started this blog, so my children will have a written diary of my memories.  I'm a much faster typist that writer, plus I can edit my posts easier.

We went to the Auburn/Ole Miss game this year, and while in Oxford we stayed with my in-laws.  Peggy, or GiGi as we call her, has some great cookbooks.  I love to read them, as you already know.  While we were hanging out one night I found a new cookbook she was given as a gift.  It is one of the best ones I've seen in a long time.  The recipes are the kind I love:  easy to follow; not too many ingredients; and no weird ingredients.  But the best part of the book are the stories in it.  I was laughing so hard I was crying.  The name of the cookbook is:  Somebody Stole the Cornbread from My Dressing.  If you have a new cook, an old cook, a southern belle, a yankee doodle dandy, or a hard to buy for person, I highly recommend this cookbook.  They won't be disappointed!  Too funny.

As we approach the new year, may you remember only the good, and leave the bad behind.  I pray for you all to have a wonderfully blessed 2011, and that your year is filled with deep abiding love, belly splitting laughter, and the happiest of memories.

Be blessed beyond measure,

Saturday, December 25, 2010

A Merry Christmas

It's another Christmas wonderfully celebrated with family, food, and SNOW!!!  If you say snow in the state of Alabama everyone goes nuts.  In a good way of course.  (well minus the run on bread and milk.)  I am weird, something which the fam reminds me of often.  I am cold natured, and really dislike being cold, but I love snow.  What can I say, I'm a walking paradox.

I have always dreamed of snow on Christmas.  The tree twinkling, a fire going, my family spending time together smiling & laughing, and then I look out and see the white stuff silently coating everything.  I have never had a white Christmas.  I have to say this one did not disappoint.  The last time it came close to being a WC was 13 years ago.  We had huge dollops of snow coming down in December.  The only reason I remember it is because my mother passed away two weeks later.  I was happy she was able to see the snow one last time. 

As I sit and ponder Christmas' past I can't help but to smile.  Times when the children were very little.  Times when I was little.  How some things have changed and some stayed the same.  Having a white Christmas makes me nostalgic.  My heart goes out to those of you who have lost loved ones this year.  It makes for a bittersweet day.  Those of you who have lost someone special know what I'm talking about.  On Christmas Eve, I truly missed our pastor's father coming out and  playing the piano for us.  He was so gifted.  I know his presence was missed this Christmas. 

So, today as I celebrate The Word becoming flesh, I am reminded of the promise that came to us.  Hope.  Hope for today, and the promise that I would not be forsaken.  Hope that this is not all there is.  Love.  Jesus modeled love for us, and offers His so freely.  As I was singing Christmas carols last night at church, I really thought about what I was singing.  My heart was so moved and humbled.  Go back at listen to them.  O Holy Night is amazing.  Get your bible out (or go to www.biblegateway.com)  and see the scripture that backs up the words of the beautiful hymn. How blessed I was and am.

If you don't know Jesus, know He loves you.  His mercy knows no end, and it's his greatest desire to be with you.  It's as easy as ABC.  I would love to give you a prayer to ask Jesus into heart and life...
...Jesus, I admit I am sinner.  I admit that I have done things my own way.  I believe you came to earth.  I believe that you love me and are the perfect Son of God.  I believe you died on the cross to save me.  Jesus, I commit myself to you as my Lord and savior.  Thank you Jesus for your sacrifice on the cross, and for loving me when I didn't love you.  Come and live inside me, and help me to draw closer to you.  In your name I pray, Amen.

Welcome to the fam!  God's family.  We are like most families; we have many different personalities, but love each other very much.  (even the weird ones like me.)  :)  If you accepted Christ, you have given him a wonderful gift.  All he wants for Christmas is you.  I hope you and your families have had a wonderful Christmas season.     

Merry Christmas and be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Cooking has Commenced

I know so many of you are like me, scurrying around your kitchens making sure all your goodies are made for Christmas.  I'm so glad that I'm not the baker of my family.  My sister and mother-in-law are great at baking.  You have to have precision to bake, and I don't measure, almost never.  Amy is baking all the sweet goodies & I'm doing most of everything else. (Well I am making a caramel pie, but that is just simmering sweetened condensed milk for 4 hours, nothing too hard there.)

Yesterday I worked mostly on what we're going to be eating Christmas morning.  I like to have a lot of different foods that we can eat on all day.  (I'm a little selfish & don't like to cook on Christmas day.)

I'm including one recipe with this email and will include others later.  The one thing we have to have at both Thanksgiving and Christmas is homemade mayonnaise.  This is my grandmother's recipe.  I remember when I learned how to make it, I think I used at least 1/2 a dozen eggs getting it right.  The one key is that you make it when it is sunshiney outside.  Don't try to make it when it's cloudy, it will fall.  And don't use a knife to get it out of the bowl.  And don't let your brother-in-law use a spoon to stir it up before you serve it...I almost had a coronary.

I know you may be thinking it's gross, but I have to tell you if you like lemons, you're going to love homemade mayo.  My MeMaw used to make tomato sandwiches with homemade mayo with salt & pepper...heaven on earth.

Well, I need to go, I have some cheese straws that need to come out of the oven.  Again, my MeMaw's recipe.  I wish she was still alive so I could tell her how much I appreciate all the work she used to put into all the goodies she would bring us, it really was a labor of love, and I'm happy to pass it on to my children.

Sending you all many heartfelt blessings for Christmas!
Be blessed beyond measure,

Thursday, December 9, 2010

From messed up to marvelous

Me & recipes, I just don't know what it is.  I don't think I could follow one to save my life...well maybe my life, or my husband & kids, but not anyone else.  Sorry. 

I am a rule follower by nature, so you think I could follow a silly little recipe.  That is a big fat nope!  I start off following it & then either forget to refer back to it or just change it altogether.  Is anyone feeling me out there, or am I just wandering alone in the forest of doing my own thing?

Ree Drummond, aka The Pioneer Woman, is a wonderful cook and posts many recipes to her blog.  The one I have been meaning to try since the summer is Hot Crash Potatoes.  Doesn't that just sound fun?   It is fun, you get to boil potatoes and then squash them before you cook them again.  It's a very easy (and very good) recipe if you follow the directions, but if you don't you're left with some funky potatoes that are a little dry. :/

I started off great.  I went over the recipe so as not to miss anything.  I did this as I was working out this morning at 5am.  (that could be fault #1)  I took the recipe into my bathroom after I worked out so I wouldn't leave it on my elliptical hence forgetting where I had left it.  (fault #2)  Well, there it stayed until after I had finished cooking the potatoes.  (and fault #3 not that I'm keeping count.)  Yep, I'm great at following directions.

What I noticed first was my potatoes were a tad dry except in places.  Directions say to take a pastry brush, which I have, and liberally coat the crushed potatoes with olive oil.  I drizzled, I didn't coat, I needed to coat.  I also didn't put enough spices on them, note to self, more spices on potatoes.  I cooked them the recommended time but they could have cooked another 10 minutes.

It's a good thing I did a dry run today b/c I'm going to be serving these to my supper club for our annual Christmas Party.  Needless to say, I will follow the directions on these a little closer on Sunday, or maybe not.  ;)  You'll be happy to know that I've taken my dry, funky looking potatoes and 1. liberally drizzled more olive oil on them; 2.  more spices have been added; and 3. placed them back into the oven to cook a little longer.  

What ever happens today, I know Sunday will be a marvelous dinner because I'll be sharing it with some wonderful friends & celebrating the Joy of Christmas.  Merry Christmas sweet readers!  I pray you will be blessed as you remember how 'the Word became flesh'.  Christ does make things that are messed up to be marvelous!

Y'all be blessed beyond measure & Merry Christmas,

Monday, December 6, 2010

Cheese Grits that are just too Gouda

This is going to be quick because I have a meeting in less than an hour, yikes...I need to get a move on!

I signed up to bring some cheese grits to VHEC's teacher Christmas breakfast & I just couldn't do the same 'ole cheese grits that I always make.  So, the teachers got to be my guinea pigs.  Sometimes that can be a good thing...sometimes not.  Last week it was a good thing.

I decided to make cheese grits that had smoked Gouda cheese it them.  OK, I can't wait until Christmas morning because I'm making them for my family!  They were smooth and creamy and yummy!  Click HERE for the recipe.  They are super easy, that's a bonus.  I measured nothing, that's a bummer if you like to have a recipe for boiling water.  :) 

I hope you all are having a wonderful Christmas season!  What a wonderful gift we were given at Christmas.  Remember to keep Christ in your Christmas.  May peace and joy be yours!

Be blessed beyond measure,

Pin MOJ to Pinterest

the reason I do what I do

the reason I do what I do
this is us on our family vacation.

Search Measure of Joy

Where the MOJ reader are...

Locations of Site Visitors Do you want your own mapcounter? go to www.maploco.com