Thursday, May 14, 2009

My Dad

October 31, 1921 ~ May 15, 2006

My dad became a Christian shortly before he died 3 years ago. He was always polite when conversation about God came up, but would always say, "I had enough religion when I was a kid" and then slip away from the conversation. In his last years, he had some short term memory loss that exhibited itself mainly by repeating stories about the past. He was also the picture of health, taking many walks every day. Unbeknownst to anyone, he had a heart attack one evening. As he prepared for bed, he turned to my mom as said “I want to get things right with God”. She asked him what he ment. He said he wanted to say a prayer... then recited the childhood poem, Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep and then The Lord’s Prayer.

Several days passed and he became very ill with what seemed like a bad bug. I took him to the doctors and he sent us to the emergency room. Testing there revealed that he had, indeed, suffered several heart attacks and that his prognosis wasn’t good ~ that perhaps he would not survive.

Well, there were many ups and downs for the next couple of weeks including a couple of surgeries. All of his children and most of his grandchildren were able to visit (the youngest one ~ my grandson just 2 weeks old). When the decision to enter the “do not resuscitate” phase became reality, we were given an incredible gift. He became alert and responsive ~ able to whisper and shake his head yes or no. He responded that he knew Jesus was his savior and that he would enter heaven.

My mom, sister, brother, my oldest daughter and myself took turns holding his hand through the long night while his nurse kept him free of pain. We watched his breathing become slower and shallower and then we watched as he entered eternity. My daughter gently closed his eyes as we all sat together and wept quietly.

Our pastor had visited a few days earlier and I spoke about my thoughts on my dad’s conversion. The “Now I Lay Me Down To Sleep” prayer was touching and sweet… but it wasn’t exactly the sinners prayer. He reminded me about the two thieves on either side of the Cross. One turned to Jesus as said, “remember me”. Our pastor explained that this man didn’t grasp all the theology and right words, but that he recognized his need and he recognized who Jesus was. That Jesus was the Way.
My dad was coming with child-like faith.
It was assurance enough for me. He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: “I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.”
Matthew 18:2 – 3

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Homemade Ice~Cream Cake

It is easy to make an ice cream cake and you can make it with your favorite ice cream flavors! 
The cake above was made by halving the recipe and it easily serves 8.
The ice cream cake below was made for our small group bible study that meets every Wednesday evening. We study, share and pray for one another. We have been together for many years caring for and ...
Ice~Cream Cake

1 package Oreo Cookies (if you prefer you can use chocolate wafer cookies, remove the cream centers from the Oreo's or just use them as the come from the package)
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (1/2 gal*.) container vanilla ice cream, softened
1 (1/2 gal*.) container ice cream flavor of your choice, softened
container Cool Whip

Anytime up to two weeks before serving, make crumbs from cookies in blended or with rolling pin. Combine crumbs and melted butter, reserving 2/3 cup of crumbs. Firmly press remaining crumbs over bottom and up sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Freeze until firm (15 minutes).

Remove from freezer and spread vanilla ice cream in an even layer. Sprinkle with reserved crumbs. Return to freezer until ice cream is firm

Spread second container of ice~cream. Cover top with foil and freeze. Early on serving day put serving plate in freezer to chill. Ten minutes before serving, invert pan onto plate, release catch, and remove sides and bottom.

(I tinted the Cool Whip with food coloring and frosted the top of the ice~cream cake.)
* Container sizes have shrunk, so I use the current tub size
This yummy cake was made with chocolate and coffee flavor ice cream

Happy Day

Some of my happiest days are the ones spent in the kitchen preparing food for my family and friends. I love being a wife... a mom... a homemaker.

Baked Ham lightly sweetened with brown sugar glaze
Grilled Asparagus, Sweet onions and Pineapple slices
Potato Au Gratin (Find Recipe here) I used cheddar cheese and Fresh Rosemary
Sauteed Apples
Cranberry ~ Blueberry Bread (recipe follows)


CRANBERRY-BLUEBERRY BREAD

3 c. all purpose flour

1 tsp. baking soda

1 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. salt

1 c. granulated sugar

1/2 c. butter, softened

2 eggs

1 c. buttermilk

1 c. whole berry cranberry sauce

1 c. fresh or frozen blueberries, thawed if frozen

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Combine flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt; set aside. In large mixing bowl, cream sugar and butter. Beat in eggs and buttermilk. Stir in flour mixture, blending well. Stir in cranberry sauce and blueberries. Pour batter into a greased 9 x 5 x 3 inch loaf pan. Bake 1 hour and 10 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from pan and cool on wire rack. Yields 1 loaf of bread.
BLUEBERRY BUTTER:
Serve Cranberry-Blueberry bread with Blueberry Butter. 1 c. butter, softened 1/4 c. confectioners sugar
Combine all ingredients, blending well. Store in airtight container in refrigerator. Yields about 1 3/4 cups of butter.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Rejuvenated

Healthy with beautiful blossoms was the last thing we expected from this rhododendron. It was old and had been in decline after doing splendidly for 20 plus years. I cut off all the branches of the seven foot bush as far back as I could with the intention of making it easier to pull out of the ground. Well, fall turned into spring and new life sprang from a tired old stump. Now it is vibrant and doing just fine.
Sometimes procrastination is a good thing.

Tell me, how did such a sweet flower get the name of... Spiderwort?Even the house plants are blooming with anticipation of brighter, warmer days.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Cherry Cake ~ Super Easy and Yummy too!

I needed an additional dessert for our weekly Wednesday evening Bible study and found a recipe for this tasty and very easy Cherry Cake. It is a doctored box cake recipe so you probably have the ingredients on hand.
Pretty presentation too. Easy Cherry Cake
Ingredients:
1 package yellow cake mix (pudding-type)
oil and eggs as called for on cake mix package
1/2 cup water
1 can (21 ounces) cherry pie filling
powdered sugar, sifted

Preparation:
Prepare cake mix according to package directions, using oil or butter and eggs, and reducing the water to 1/2 cup. Spread batter into a greased and floured 13x9x2-inch baking pan. Spoon cherry pie filling evenly over the batter, then swirl into the batter just enough to give a marbled effect.
Bake cake at 350° for 55 to 60 minutes, until cake bounces back when lightly touched. Cool and sprinkle with sifted powdered sugar.

(I drizzled cake with a simple 10X sugar glaze to finish off)

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