Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Happy Banana Pudding Day!

Sunday I got a text from my brother Mark.
"Ya'll having banana pudding at your place today?"
I responded "Made it yesterday for my retreat! Put it in canning jars:)"
He replied "Lovely! Enjoy."
To anyone but my siblings this is a silly exchange over pudding, but to us it is a day we remember our dad. It was my dad's birthday. He has been gone for 23 years now and every year we celebrate him with snickerdoodles or banana pudding. Now this isn't just any banana pudding, it's a homemade, stir on the stove forever banana pudding. My sister called me that afternoon because she couldn't find her recipe. No other recipe will do! The pudding (which is actually a custard) recipe is my grandmother Nellie's.
 My dad loved banana pudding and somehow in a magical way when we make this on his birthday it tastes better than any other time!

I have very few pictures of my dad which makes them priceless!

We had this Pontiac for 13 years and it became Old Bessie:)
I cried when Dad sold this car, it was part of our family!

We lived in a 8'x40' trailer until I was 3...can't even imagine!
Village Creek 1967

At night we would sit on daddy's lap and he would read books before bedtime.

One of my dad's birthdays.
Notice in the next picture he still has the same shirt years later!

Dad's graduation day April 1971

This last picture is the day my dad got his accounting degree. He went to school for 5 years while working full time at a chemical plant, being a dad to 4 children, and serving in church. He is the only one in his family of 10 children to get a degree!  He was known for honesty, tenacity, and being absolutely faithful to his beliefs. I am glad he was my dad.

Happy banana pudding day siblings:)

p.s. Banana pudding recipe:)

p.p.s The snickerdoodle recipe post!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Sausage Balls

Our family grew up camping on Lake Toledo with Uncle Joe's family. 
Steinhagan Lake
He is legendary in these parts for his camping cooking and campfire stories! The little kids would always hear about the Steinhagan Lake monster that sneaks in your tent and eats your toes if they are not covered up! 
Uncle Joe taught us the "proper" way to make pancakes, hot chocolate from scratch, and how to eat sausage balls with honey! He would say "Come on over here, we are gonna have pancakes(or fill in the blank) 101!"
This recipe is a Christmas Eve tradition in my family. They are good for breakfast, lunch, dinner and all the times in between:)

Sausage Balls

1lb Jimmy Dean sausage (I am a sausage snob and will only use Jimmy Dean)
      Maple sausage is my favorite, although it is fun to use different flavors.
1 1/2 cup shredded cheese (try different kinds of cheese to mix it up)
3 cups Bisquick

options to add: finely chopped bell peppers or onions

Mix ingredients all together...this will be tough! 
I find it easier to use my hands than a spoon. If you have men in the house have them do this!

You will mix and mix and finally everything will bond together. Roll into balls. Sometimes I make meatball size balls for a meal, or walnut size balls for a party. Adjust your cooking time accordingly.

Bake @ 350 for 15-20 minutes. Do not over cook! They will be slightly brown on the top. I usually open one to make sure the sausage is cooked.
Best served warm with honey, ranch, or most anything else:)

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Cabinet re-do...stenciling in blues

It all started with a stencil, a scrapbooking stencil that I have been dying to use in a big way! 

I am so in love with my blue door that I have been looking around my house for more things to paint blue:) I have this fabulous cabinet with iron legs that my sister in law built! 
It was begging to be blue:) 
I used the same blue as my door adding aqua as my stencil color. 
I distressed the whole cabinet with black.

I painted one coat of the base blue

The stenciling took hours...it is the drying time
of one section before you can over lap the stencil for the next section. 

I started out doing 2 light coats, realized how long that would take
and then just did one fairly generous coat of paint.
You can see the difference between the stenciling
with, and without, the black distressing.

I chose a portion of the stencil to center on the drawers.

I found these great knobs at Hobby Lobby.
I chose to leave the shelves unpainted to break up the blue.
I love my cabinet just as much as my blue door
.....what else can I paint blue?:)

P.S. The stencil is called "Swirly Vines" from a company called Crafters Workshop.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

More... of the best things

Sometimes I wonder what God thinks of us down here on earth racing around in our quest to acquire more and more things. I know that more isn't always good... unless you are talking about grandbabies or chocolate:) 
I was sitting in church singing this hymn when I realized here were some things that I NEED more of...attributes that I painfully lack in different amounts. And so this year I am going on a journey of more...more of the things I really need and this song is my study guide. I will go line by line and phrase by phrase studying those key words from God's word. What does holiness really mean? How can I have patience when life is hard?
I also realize this is quite a task and I know that it won't miraculously turn me into a saint:) 
I do know that I will have a better understanding of what is really important, and that I hopefully will be a better wife, mother, grammie, daughter, sister, friend and member of my community. 
And so I begin my quest for more...of the best things.

More Holiness Give Me
More holiness give me, more strivings within,
More patience in suff'ring, more sorrow for sin.
More faith in my Savior, more sense of his care,
More joy in his service, more purpose in prayer.

More gratitude give me, more trust in the Lord,
More pride in his glory, more hope in his word.
More tears for his sorrow, more pain at his grief,
More meekness in trial, more praise for relief.

More purity give me, more strength to o'ecome,
More freedom from earth stains, more longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom, more used would I be,
More blessed and holy- more Savior, like thee.
                                         Text and music: Philip Paul Bliss, 1838–1876

 P.S. Enjoy a beautiful rendition of this song
..........a few minutes of peace:)


Sunday, January 22, 2012

Decorating my planner:)

Like most people in the world, I buy a new planner/calendar each new year.
This becomes the center of organization for my life!
Since my calendar becomes a permanent part of my kitchen counter I thought it would be fun to decorate!
I layered paper, rub-ons, stamped images, and a prima pearl embellishment.
I did put on a really thin layer of matte Mod Podge for longevity.

Each item of embellishment was chosen with purpose and meaning.

Poppies are such happy flowers:) This paper was the perfect backgound.

I chose a bicycle stamped image to remind me to enjoy the journey of life.
A treble cliff image reminds me that good music soothes my soul.

Rub-on words I included:
Unique- to remember I am a "one of a kind" child of God.
Cherish- to remember how blessed I am to have a family.
Joy-to remind me to be happy!
Love- a reminder to serve those around me.

I added a punched tree because trees are an anchor to the landscape, and a comfort to me.
 I hope to be an anchor and comfort to those I know.

The pearl flourish adds class and beauty reminding me to seek for true beauty.

I find that surrounding myself with meaningful creativity makes life a little more sweet...
even decorating a lowly black planner!

Monday, January 16, 2012

The blue front door

As I was leaving my driveway the other day I looked back at my house and realized I didn't like my black door anymore! 
Black is great, but I just got a decorating bug and had to do something different:) 

Originally I had a hunter green door which was a popular color in the 90's, but today it became blue, not just any blue but..."Running trout stream" blue!

I love all shades of blue...
the sky,

the ocean in Cozumel,

my son's eyes,

and my beautiful glass tile bowl which was the inspiration for my door!

I painted 2 coats of semi gloss paint, then dry brushed black paint into the corners and panel edges.

I liked the look of the black edges so I dry brushed the whole door:)

 Behold the blue door!

I added my January wreath which has frosted magnolia flowers with a
 crystal swag intertwined in the flowers. 

I love my door so much that tomorrow I am painting my back door blue:)

Friday, January 6, 2012

Grand-babies are miracles, welcome Savannah

We just had another new baby join our family! Savannah Jane came into the world on December 28th. She is healthy, beautiful and has very chubby kissable cheeks:) She is miracle number one.

Miracle number two is my son who used to be a paintball shooting, 4 wheeler wrecking, fireworks popping, and radio tower climbing charming bundle of trouble! Think... Dennis the Menace meets the Terminator! 

His tenderness and care with his new little daughter is sweet and endearing. He is protective and supportive of his wife Janene. I say to all mothers who have teenage boys you would sometimes like to take out of this world...hang on...miracles have not ceased:)

Baby Savannah is perfect in everyway. 
What a blessing! 
What a relief! 
What a joy! 
What a miracle!
I am Grammie again and that is just what I want to be:)

our photographer is a talented Dallas area girl:)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Free Retreat giveaway!

Happy Anniversary to Nellie's Cottage! 

Once again I will be giving away a
free retreat weekend for up to 8 guests.
*Become a follower on this blog to enter!
Drawing on January 14th.

Scrapbooking, quilting, sewing, crafting, re-connecting with friends, spa weekends....everything is perfect at our charming & cozy 1938 cottage!

We cater (optional) our retreats with homemade goodness from our family recipes. Five weekend meals are $55=tx per guest. (not included in free retreat giveaway)

We have a full kitchen for those that would like to cook themselves. 

We have 8 comfy twin beds in our upstairs loft, and downstairs accommodations at our cottage apartment for those that can't climb the stairs.

We have open shopping during the retreat at our Scrapbook Boutique. We carry items not found in the local chain stores.

Tables, lights and comfy chairs are available. 
We also have wireless internet and TV/DVD.

This was my grandparents home. They were generous and kind people. 

We follow their example by pouring southern hospitality onto each guest:) 
Come to the cottage where your memories will bloom!
p.s. see our guest comments page!