Amazing Grace


 

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  1. Amazing grace! How sweet the sound
    That saved a wretch like me!
    I once was lost, but now am found;
    Was blind, but now I see.

My Dad just loves this song. He always sings it when we play it for him. He struggles to get it out but he sings. I miss his singing voice, “how sweet the sound”.

  1. Twas grace that taught my heart to fear,
    And grace my fears relieved;
    How precious did that grace appear
    The hour I first believed.

How a year can change your life. My dad last year started having problems with his brain. We found that he had a viral tumor on his brain and then he lost his short-term memory. Our fears were just beginning at that time. Fear he would walk out the house and not know where he was. Fear the tumor would become bigger. Fear that we could lose him. But through God’s grace we knew that all in his time.

  1. Through many dangers, toils and snares,
    I have already come;
    ’Tis grace hath brought me safe thus far,
    And grace will lead me home.

The past year has brought many dangers and toils for my dad. My dad has endured many doctor visits to U of M and here in Midland. But nothing was ever a definite answer as what was truly causing his short-term memory lost. The tumor had disappear but he still had short-term memory issues. But now as we have come to expect that he has been suffering from mini strokes all along. Jan.28 he had his first major stroke that took his ability to swallow and move the left side of his body. Somewhere in the past week or so he suffered another major stroke the involved the front lobe of his brain and it was a big one. He stills responds to us but is sleeping most of the time. But it is grace that lets us know that God has him in his hands. And by God’s grace he will be with him until he goes home. Hospice is now helping him to be comfortable.

  1. The Lord has promised good to me,
    His Word my hope secures;
    He will my Shield and Portion be,
    As long as life endures.
  2. Yea, when this flesh and heart shall fail,
    And mortal life shall cease,
    I shall possess, within the veil,
    A life of joy and peace.

The last few months Dad has become very agitated and to calm him we play hymns or read the Bible to him. ”His word my hope secures.” This has calmed him some and made him peaceful. He knows what God has promised him and many times he has told us he is ready to go. We often hear him talking to God and asking him to take him home. We know he is ready to go to heaven. “As long as life endures.”  “a life of joy and peace.”

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  1. The earth shall soon dissolve like snow,
    The sun forbear to shine;
    But God, who called me here below,
    Will be forever mine.

My Dad has always been a Christian. As a child, we went to church every Sunday. He even sent the last three children to a Christian High School in Saginaw, Michigan Lutheran Seminary in hopes that one of us would become a pastor or teacher (that didn’t happen by the way). His love for all his children was to make sure all of us would be in heaven together someday. I have no doubt that my sister Lillian is waiting for him to give him a great big hug.

  1. When we’ve been there ten thousand years,
    Bright shining as the sun,
    We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise
    Than when we’d first begun.*

Well it feels like it has been 10 thousand years instead of just a year that my Dad has been dealing with all of this. We continue to rely on God for our support and strength. We will continue to sing his praise through this storm. Letting God’s light shine on us while we struggle thru this trial. We cannot thank all of the people enough that are standing by us and continue to pray for my Dad. Your love and prayers are such a blessing to all of us. Thank you!

*Song written by John Newton.

One of favorite versions of Amazing Grace is by King and Country. Use the link to check it out.

 

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Sausage and Brown Sugar Acorn Squash


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This dish is so insanely easy it is not funny. Take one acorn squash cut in half and scoop the seeds out. Place cut side down on a cookie sheet. I use silpats so that they don’t stick to the cookie sheet. Place in oven at 375 degrees until soft. I squeeze the outside of the squash and it if gives easily then you know it is done.

In the meantime cook up a pound of sausage, whatever is your favorite brand. I like my sausage on the crispy side so that is how I cook mine. Also at this time I melt a tsp of butter and add bread crumbs.  When I was in Leland, MI. this weekend I stopped by Carlson Fish Shop and picked up some Stonehouse Fishtown Crumbs this is my favorite but you can use homemade bread crumbs or panko too.

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This is how cool Leland is. Such a beautiful place.

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When the squash is done take it out and flip them over and rub a pat of butter over the whole top and inside until the butter is melted. I then sprinkle with salt and pepper to your liking. Then sprinkle brown sugar over everywhere the butter is. Jon and I like it with more brown sugar so I add a generous portion.  Fill the scooped out section with the sausage and add more brown sugar. Top with a little bit more butter.  Then add the bread crumb mixture over the butter and put back into the oven for about 5 to 10 minutes more. Just enough to melt the butter and brown the breadcrumbs. Take out and enjoy!

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Ingredients

1 acorn squash

1 pound of sausage ( you will not use the whole pound but you can use the leftovers for breakfast)

salt and pepper

brown sugar

butter

Breadcrumbs

Young and Beautiful


Today my mom will celebrate her 80th birthday. 80 years of birthdays and I know this one will be the hardest for her. Last month my mother lost her oldest daughter Lillian to breast cancer. I know what it is like for me to lose my sister but as a mother myself my heart breaks even more for my mother as she has lost a child and a friend. As our family goes through this year of firsts without Lillian I am reminded how fragile life is and that we should appreciate every birthday not just the milestone ones. We should love our family members and hold them close. You just never know when you might lose them.

Here is a picture of my mom. I believe this is her senior picture.

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Young and beautiful. Did this young girl know what an inspiration she would become to so many? Did she know that she would have seven children, 13 grandchildren, and 3 great grandchildren? Did she know that she would be a great mother, grandmother, great grandmother? Did she know she would touch so many lives? Did she know that she would be a strong role model not just for her children but for so many others that have walked into her life? Did she know that she would be the heart of huge family?

Well if she didn’t she really should know now. All those things sum up my mother.

Here is my mom yesterday as we celebrated her 80th birthday still young and beautiful. Here is to many more Mom. Love you.

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Celebrating her birthday my sister-in-law had made a Shrimp Boil. It was fun and delicious.

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It had shrimp, red potatoes, onions, sausage, and corn on the cob with cajon seasoning, cayenne pepper, and old bay seasoning. It was not too spicy but just enough to leave you wanting more.

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I want to leave you with a few quotes about aging and beauty. My mother will always be Young and Beautiful in my eyes.

“And the beauty of a woman, with passing years only grows!”
― Audrey Hepburn

“There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age.”
― Sophia Loren

“But if we are truly happy inside, then age brings with it a maturity, a depth, and a power that only magnifies our radiance.”
― David DeidaIntimate Communion

“Grow old along with me! The best is yet to be.”

–Robert Browning (1812-1889)

Banana Pancakes


I usually don’t have time in the morning to make breakfast. But this morning I did. So I decided to make Banana Pancakes. I love bananas in the morning. They fill you up and get you going. I decided that I would make my banana pancakes this morning because we have a full day of cleaning and maybe some painting to do this afternoon. But before I go on about my Banana Pancakes I must tell you how I got my new stove top. I did have a glass stove top until about 2 weeks ago a glass spice jar hit the glass stove top and shattered my glass top.

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But here is my new stove top. So pretty!

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So now onto the Banana Pancakes.

First I take one banana and smash it.

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Add a cup of Bisquick.

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Then I add 1/2 cup of milk, one egg, and add some Mexican vanilla.

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Mix it all together with a fork. The reason I use a fork is so that the mixture stays light and airy.

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I slice up another banana and then ladle the pancake mixture and place 3 to 4 slice on top of the pancake mixture.

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Flip and cook on the other side and there you go. Banana Pancakes so sweet and yummy. Give them a try.

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Just add butter and syrup.

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Banana Pancakes

2 whole bananas

1 cup of Bisquick

1/2 cup of milk

1 egg

1 to 2 teaspoons of vanilla

Smash one banana and then add the one cup of bisquick, 1/2 cup of milk, one egg, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla. Mix all together and then ladle on to a frying pan.  Cut the second banana into slices. Then place three to four on each pancake, cook for until you see the batter bubbling, then flip.

 

Chicken Sausage Skillet


So I was bored tonight and decided to throw some stuff together and this is what was created. I had Garlic and Asiago Chicken Sausage, green pepper, and onions. Well that is a natural combination if I ever saw one but we can take it a step further. So I had some frozen peas and Montery Jack cheese.

First I  sauted the Chicken Sausage along with some chopped onions and green peppers. DSC_0061

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I added some frozen peas and some chicken stock.

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Once the peas were cooked through I added some more chicken stock and then I added in Minute Rice cups with Brown rice and Wild rice. I added just one cup along with about 4 ounces of Montery Jack Cheese.

DSC_0065 DSC_0067Once the rice warms and the cheese melts your dinner is done. This is a quick dinner for two and so delicious.

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Where Did The Time Go?


This is week has gone by so fast. Where did the time go? Which is what I was thinking Thursday night while watching Jon’s niece graduate from High School.  She graduated with Honors and we are so proud.

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Me, Kc and Jon 2013

Where did the time go? I still remember my High School Graduation. I was so excited to get out and start real life or so I thought.  Saying goodbye to my friends was not easy but the sense of freedom was new and exciting.

Great Friends

Tracy, Martha, Me and April 1987

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Martha,Tracy, Me and April 2012

But boy did life have other plans for me. I did not go to college, instead I wanted the freedom. I wanted the job. I wanted to get out of my parents house, I wanted to make my own money, spend time with friends and yes party a little too.  My ideas of real life were let’s say a little askew.  Two years later I was married, a mother of a precious little girl and pregnant with my second child. Two years after that, I was newly divorced and a single mom to two beautiful children. Life had other plans for me indeed. I struggled as a single mom, worked long hours and missed very important days with my children. I made many mistakes that I will have to live with for the rest of my life, but I would not change one single thing in my life.  It made me the strong person I am today. It brought me back to God and the meaning of family and God brought me Jon.

A few things I would like to tell KC on this day is to stay true to yourself, go to college and find out who you are. Study hard and look at this time as a new chapter in your life, one of many. Don’t rush into the next chapter of your life it will come soon enough. Enjoy this time of your life and treasure the small things as much as the big ones.  Call your mother and tell her you love her any chance you get. It means the world to her. Always remember we are here for you and you are not alone.

KC's family Grad Picture

Banana Rhubarb Bread


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I was at my mom and dad’s house the other day for dinner. (They must have read my blog from my previous post about how I missed eating dinner with them. Thanks Mom!) My mom had made delicious lasagna and rhubarb crumble for dessert. As I was leaving with a full belly in tote my mom and dad asked if I wanted rhubarb. Well I have never cooked with rhubarb before. So the challenge was set. I immediately went to Banana Rhubarb Bread mostly because I had a lot of ripe bananas left at home. Well of course I took some and here are the results of my first attempt at using Rhubarb.  Now if I make this again I will add more rhubarb maybe 3 or 4 stalks instead of 2 ½ stalks. Although this is very tasty like it is I would have liked to taste more rhubarb.

I hope you try this bread it is very moist and it melts in your mouth. Enjoy!

Banana Rhubarb Bread

6 Ripe Bananas

2 ½ stalks of Rhubarb

2/3 Cups of butter melted

1 ½ cups of sugar

¼ cup of water

2 eggs

2 teaspoons of vanilla

2 teaspoons of baking soda

Pinch of salt

3 cups of flour

 

            Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Dice the rhubarb into small pieces. In a small sauce pan add water and a ½ cup of sugar then the diced rhubarb. Cook on low to medium heat until the rhubarb is soft. In the meantime take the 6 bananas mash them with a fork or a potato masher and add the melted butter. Then when the rhubarb is soft and has cool slightly add that to the bananas.

            Mix in the sugar, eggs and vanilla into the banana mixture. Sprinkle the salt and baking soda over the mixture and then add one cup of flour at a time until all the flour is added.  Pour mixture into 2 buttered loaf pans. Bake for one hour and then cool on rack. Then all there is left to do is grab your knife and slice and butter it up. 

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