Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Recipes, Recipes, Recipes

Do you remember my previous posts (here and here) about our church's Mother Daughter Luncheon? It was a ton of fun and the food was so yummy! My friend, Brett, who was in charge of the food, graciously shared her recipes for some of the salads we had at the luncheon. I just wish I had taken pictures of the food- I guess you'll just have to trust me when I tell you that it was amazing!

Healthy Chicken Salad
(tuna may also be used)
1 lg. can chopped cooked chicken (or 2 5-oz cans tuna), drained
8 sm radishes, thinly sliced
2 stalks celery, sliced
1/4 C chopped parsley
2 Tb lemon juice
1 Tb olive oil
1/4 tsp salt & pepper
Combine & chill.

Chicken Salad
proportion according to taste
Chopped, cooked chicken
Romaine lettuce, chopped
Green & red grapes, halved
Apples, diced
Pecans or walnuts
Combine & mix with Miracle Whip. Serve immediately.

Broccoli Salad
Big bunch of broccoli, chopped fine
1/2 C red onion, chopped
1/2 C sunflower seeds
1/2 C golden raisins
6 slices bacon, fried & crumbled
Stir above ingredients together.
1 C Miracle Whip
1/4 C sugar
Mix with broccoli mixture. Chill.

And.... as a special treat, Brett also shared her Crock Pot Hot Chocolate recipes. They are both amazing, but you HAVE to try the Snowflake Hot Chocolate.... so good!!!

Creamy Hot Chocolate
1 1/2 C Heavy cream
1 can (14 oz.) sweetened condensed milk
2 C milk choco chips
6 C milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir all together in crock pot. Cook on low for 2 hours, whisking occasionally.

Snowflake Hot Chocolate
2 C heavy cream
6 C whole milk
1 bag white choco chips
1 tsp vanilla extract
Stir together in crock pot. Cook on low for 2 hours, whisking occasionally.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Worth A Thousand Words

For quite some time, I've been fascinated by photography. I have several friends who are amazingly talented photographers, and I'm always slightly in awe of the pictures they post. While I'm not planning on trying to become a professional photographer, and I'm pretty sure I'm not ever going to reach the same level  as those friends, I've decided that I'm going to at least try to learn some tips & techniques. I've been doing some research online & reading about different things- lighting, composition, editing, etc. One of the most repeated bits of advice is to practice, practice, practice. Sooooo... I've decided to give myself a challenge to take & post at least one picture a day for the next 365 days. We'll see how that goes.... ;)

My goal is to be able to take great pictures of family & friends- I want to be able to know what I'm doing, at least a little bit, so that I can take reliably beautiful shots that capture moments & memories. I think I'm going to try to convince Nathanael to do this with me so we can learn together... plus, he takes most of the shots for the daily style blog I write for, so the more he learns, the better my outfit pictures will be! *wink*

I've even set up a Flickr account so maybe I'll keep up with the daily photo posting. I'll try to share pictures on here at least once a week, too. And if anybody has any advice or tips for me, I'd love to hear them!

My first picture for the 365 day photo challenge:

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Be Ye Kind

This last week, our church had our Mother Daughter Luncheon called "Our Mother's Apron" (read more about my crazy apron obsession here). I took several aprons down to the church to be used as decorations, and as I was ironing them, I came to my grandma's apron. I love that apron- not only is it beautiful, and well made, but it's a sweet reminder of my grandma. As I was ironing it, I started thinking about the legacy that my grandma left behind.

My grandma passed away almost 15 years ago. Logically, it seems like that might be a long time ago... but to all of us who knew her and love her, it seems like yesterday. We still talk about her often... we still tell stories about things she did or said.... we still have things she made or bought at a garage sale for 50 cents... I carried yellow roses at my wedding in her memory... we all still run into people who knew my grandma who tell us what a sweet and special lady she was. My grandma fought a long and painful battle with cancer, and I'm glad she's not suffering anymore, and I'm glad we'll see her again, but thinking about her always brings a smile to my face and a little tear to my eye. She was a godly woman, and obviously, one that her family thinks about often.

So, what made her so special? What made her someone that is so sorely missed all these years after her homegoing? What qualities should I seek to cultivate in my life if I want to leave a legacy like she left? For me, it all boils down to one word: kindness. My grandma loved the Lord, she loved her family, and she loved people. My grandma was a beautiful, funny, smart, talented woman- but the thing that we all remember the most about her wasn't that she was gorgeous, or witty, or could make pretty much anything she saw in a book or TV (although those things are all true)... it was that she was kind. She lived out Ephesians 4:32: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you. Through my grandpa's job & political work, my grandma got to hobnob with some pretty fancy people, but she never treated them any differently than she treated her grandkids, or the teller at the bank, or the kids at church, or anybody with whom she came in contact. Before I got married, I worked at the newspaper in the town where my grandparents lived (my grandpa still lives there). Being a small town, people always asked me if I was related to anyone in town. When I mentioned that I was Bob Willis' granddaughter, 9 times out of 10, I would hear "Your grandma sure was a sweet lady." I even had one lady tell me that my grandma always made her day. What a legacy and a testimony to leave behind... 15 years later, that's what my grandma is remembered for!

Of all the ways that I want to be like her, the one I strive for the most is to exhibit her sweet spirit. I can't really control if I'm as pretty as her, or if I'm as quick witted, or if I'm as smart, or if I'm as resourceful... those are all things that, more or less, you're given by God- but I can work to be kind. Someday, I'd like the memory that people have of me to be that I made a difference in their lives because I was kind.

My grandma & grandpa- pretty, right?

My grandparents with my aunt, my mom, and my uncle

My grandparents, my grandpa's parents, me, Luanne, and Valerie

My grandma and me

My grandma at their house in Minnesota

My grandma and her mom

My grandparents & my great- grandparents

My grandma at the Grand Canyon

My grandparents
And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity. I Cor 13:13 

The lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places; yea, I have a goodly heritage. Psalm 16:6