Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thanksgiving and the presence of those we love

The Thanksgiving Holiday is upon us again.  How quickly another year has gone by.   The older I get the more treasured the Thanksgiving Holiday is to me.  Life has brought many struggles to my family and I, but none of which are uncommon to us all. I have come to realize the struggles of life act as a purifying fire, that refines us like gold, removing the dross, and leaving behind the beauty.  As each year passes, the beauty of all that the Lord has done for us becomes brighter and brighter; while sorrow and struggle though often in our midst, fades.    How can I not wake up each day with gratitude that the Lord has richly blessed me.  As the Holiday approaches, I am more consciously filled with the Thankfulness that wells up in my heart.

Last week, four treasures came home for a visit;  Nathan, Himilce, Elon and Asher. As all the hopes and dreams of life come and go, nothing compares to having your children and grandchildren in your midst.  We had our own "Thanksgiving" the Saturday night after they got in, and delighted all week in their presence with us; their coming and going was dear, because even though they were sometimes visiting friends or re-exploring home, their presence was with us.  This makes me think of my relationship with the Lord.  How He loves when we seek to be in His presence; we don't have to be "eye to eye" or "one on one" every second of the day to appreciate  being in each other's presence constantly.  I remember my Mom telling me once that even if we didn't talk on the phone or see each other every day, she felt me "there".  Our houses are close to each other, and we feel each other's presence.  Now she lives half the year in Las Vegas near my brother Dave, and  half the year here I miss her presence when she's away. Of course we still talk on the phone, but there is something more about being in the presence of those you love.

Let us come before His presence with Thanksgiving.... Psalm 95:2

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Olga's Graduation Pictures/A Gift from Nathan

My son Nathan is a photographer and film maker, and a very talented one I might add (no bias on my part).  Himilce can make things beautiful.  With the touch of her hand she multiplies beauty to people, rooms, food and more. While Nathan and Himilce were here,  Nathan took some family pictures and Olga's senior pictures.  Himilce helped him with Olga's senior pictures. They make a great team. Here are the results.   Thanks Nathan and Himilce.


Monday, November 2, 2009


Fall brings with it a multitude of happy rituals that bless our lives each year as they appear.  This year fall came in warm and golden, but was interrupted somewhat as Winter tried to barge in ahead of schedule.  Our family was just in time to pick chilis before Jack Frost put an end to that bounty.  The pumpkins seem to hold out a little farther into cold weather, and even though snow came in at least 4 different times, those pumpkins were fat and cheery through the end of October.  We've had great delight in seeing many old friends this fall.  Some through chance, and others through delightful times such as Roxy and Danny's harvest party; which we have enjoyed off and on for many years.  In the old days we used to plan a homeschool harvest party and it was the one time of year everyone was able to come together and share a bowl of chili, have hayrides, enjoy games and family fun.  Roxy and Danny have kept up the tradition, and now we have opportunities to see many friends, as well as another generation of children with their children. 

Here are some pictures of the fall happenings.  I may not be able to fully describe each picture, because I seem to fall into the "special ed." department of blogging when it comes to managing my pictures together with script.  So until I get another visit from Elizabeth and Marie, I may be in that state for a while; But here's to Fall and to many dear friends and family that bless our lives.

Graham Crackers

I recently posted a little poem called "Animal Crackers", which inspired me to look up some healthy animal cracker recipes (if such a thing can really exist).  I found this recipe for Whole Grain Graham Crackers/Animal Crackers on a blog called . I tried it and it was really good; you will love her blog if you are interested in cooking healthy meals for your family.  I wish I had access to her blog years ago when I was raising young children.

Even though I had animal crackers on my mind, I didn't cut them into animal crackers this time, because I was impatient to make them and didn't feel like digging up my animal cookie cutters; I made Graham Crackers instead. The only problem with them is that you keep eating them. Steve just loved them.  We finished up one batch in one day, and then I made another. The first batch I made, was chocolate. We loved it. The second batch was just the regular "Honey Graham" Recipe, we loved it too.   Give them a try.. I think you're going to really love these.

Note: for Animal Cracker Instructions click here

2 1/4 whole wheat flour
1/2 cup dehydrated cane juice (also known as Rapadura or Sucanat found in health food store)
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
4 Tablespoons honey
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 stick butter
1/4 cup water

For Chocolate Grahams, add 1/3 cup cocoa

1. Preheat oven to 350*.
2. Melt butter in a saucepan.
3. Stir in water, vanilla and honey. Set aside
4. In a mixing bowl stir together dry ingredients.
5. Add liquid ingredients to dry ingredients and stir until you form a ball.
6. Cut 2 pieces of parchment paper to fit the size of your cookie sheet,
placing one on the cookie sheet, the dough on top of that and the other sheet on top, and then roll out to the shape of the cookie sheet;
7. Remove the top sheet of parchment or wax paper and cut animal shapes with cookie cutter, or with a pizza cutter, cut into squares for grahams. Prick with fork if desired.
8. Bake for 18 minutes.
9. Turn off oven and leave crackers in oven 5 or 10 minutes longer in order to crisp them up. The original recipe suggested doing this even longer, but with the pizza stone, 5 minutes was truly sufficient.
10. Pull apart and lift from cookie sheet with spatula.
11. Serve and enjoy.