Sunday, March 18, 2012

Ode to Saint Pat

Saturday was Saint Paddie’s Day.
We’re not usually huge on celebrating, but we do eat a little green food and don our best green outfits – maybe even break out an “authentic” accent… in public… much to my children’s chagrin.
We had some company over for lunch after church – I tried to go a little green with the table but when I saw these flowers I had to have them. Aren’t they beautiful? They’re not green, but purple and green are perfect together.DSCN4315DSCN4320
We showed Courageous at our church Saturday night. If you haven’t seen it yet, you need to. Amazing movie with an incredible message.
There was a bit of a snack potluck before the movie and, since it was still St. Patrick’s Day, I wanted to take something green along. I picked these Key Lime Cupcakes that I found on Pinterest. (If you need an invitation to Pinterest just holler and I’ll send you one.) They’re not super green in color, but they got the job done.
Key Lime Cupcakes
This is a recipe from Martha. No, not that Martha, but the Martha that heads up Guest Relations at Dave, yes, that Dave Ramsey.
These were pretty good – what really makes them is the Key Lime Butter Cream on the top. You need to store any leftovers in the fridge, but they’re best served at room temperature.
The hardest part of the entire recipe is juicing the key limes. Key limes are the small, golf-ball sized ones – not the big bright green Persian limes. If you’re unable to find key limes you’ll need to buy key lime juice You’ll find it by the bottled lemon juice. In fact, the next time I make these, I’m going to buy the bottled juice instead of juicing the limes. You still need to buy the limes for the zest the recipe calls for, though.
I made two recipes so there would be plenty to share. But I ended up with an entire batch left over. So we’re getting our fill here for sure.
This would be a great recipe for the summer too – give it a try.



1 box of vanilla cake mix (I prefer a French vanilla version)
3 teaspoons Key lime zest
  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and line two muffin pans with 24 paper cup cake liners.
  2. Use a zester or cheese grater and scrap the outer, colorful skin of your limes before slicing and squeezing.
  3. Follow directions for the cake mix, then add 3 teaspoons lime zest to the batter.
  4. Fill each cup evenly (about 2/3 full)
  5. Bake for approximately 18 minutes and insert toothpick to test for doneness. If it comes out wet, bake an additional 1 minute at a time, checking until the toothpick comes out clean. Cool completely before frosting.

Key Lime Butter Cream Frosting

1 cup (2 sticks) butter, softened to room temperature – no substitutions
3 teaspoons Key lime zest
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 (16-oz.) packages powdered sugar
6 tablespoons Key lime juice (if fresh squeezed, strain to remove seeds)
3–4 tablespoons milk
  1. Beat softened butter, lime zest, vanilla, and salt together at medium speed with an electric mixer until creamy.
  2. Gradually add powdered sugar alternately with Key lime juice, 1 tablespoon at a time, and 1 tablespoon milk, beating at low speed until blended and smooth after each addition.
  3. Frost cooled cupcakes, and garnish with lime slices and lime zest, if desired.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Flat Me

We’ve just finished helping out with a “Flat Stanley” project. If you haven’t heard of Flat Stanley or the books by Jeff Brown, check out his back story here.

We received our little flat guy in the mail and started planning where we could take him. Unfortunately, he didn’t receive an official name from the student that sent him, so we just called him “Me”. And he was flat… so it was Flat Me. I know… it’s terribly cleaver. (Whoops – clever. Don’t tell anyone I homeschool…)

At first it was tough – we’ve been blessed with lots of gray and rainy days lately – and that’s not the best weather for taking a guest out sightseeing. But finally the weather lifted and we hit the road

Yes, I said “guest”. The truth of the matter is we may have treated this laminated piece of paper cut out like a gingerbread-man and hurriedly colored with crayons better than we treat some of our house guests.

We hit the most popular Texas landmark first – and during the 176th anniversary of the famous battle that was fought there.


Before you think too poorly of me for only taking my kids to see famous landmarks when we’re hauling a piece of paper with us, let me assure you they’ve been here before. So it was more like an adventure,really, when daddy slowed the van down (in the “busses only” lane no less) and we did a “tuck and roll” out while he circled the block. “GO, GO, GO!!!” We may as well have been jumping out of an airplane. It was exhilarating, I tell you! And we avoided having to pay for parking!!

While we were jogging back to the corner I coached the kids on how to dive into a moving vehicle and  informed my husband via walkie-talkie (or cell phone…) that we were changing the dinner plan.

Instead of pizza at Costco we opted for dinner on the Riverwalk. When you’re a piece of paper visiting San Antonio you’ve gotta see the Riverwalk.It’s basically a sidewalk…around the river…DSCN4216


You can see the colorful umbrella tables for Casa Rio – the first business on the Riverwalk back in 1946. Instead of eating here we opted for a more expensive and lower quality meal with a faux ambiance.DSCN4220

Welcome to the Rainforest Café.


Flat Me is a real daredevil…DSCN4226

Fear not – no humans or paper figures were harmed while posing for these photos.

We showed Me the area we live in – The Hill Country.DSCN4227

Later in the week we took Flat me to LBJ (as in Lyndon B. Johnson the 36th President of the United States) Ranch.DSCN4272

If you haven’t yet been to the presidential primary election in your state you might want to write “Me” in the blank on your ballot. I think Me would do very well against the current candidates.

The LBJ Ranch State Park is the site of Johnson’s birth,DSCN4270

first school,DSCN4268

DSCN4266“Texas White House” and, death and burial.


I’d show you the inside, but cameras weren’t allowed.

We intended to get Flat Me to the state capitol as well but it was so darn interesting at the LBJ Ranch that we ended up staying all afternoon.

With any luck, we’ll receive another piece of paper shaped like a giant cookie and get the kids over to the capitol for a tour sometime soon. It would be just too weird to take them for no reason at all.

So if you’re approached by a young student and asked to participate in a Flat Stanley project, you should do it. Stanley loves to go out to dinner and would probably love a nice weekend away at a Bed and Breakfast or luxury boutique hotel, maybe even take in a nice opera or off-Broadway production. Just don’t expect him to pick up the tab. I’m thinking if we get the chance again we’ll take our Flat Stanley/Me on a European tour.

I'm linking up to the

 Hip Homeschool Hop Button

Saturday, March 10, 2012


It’s been a bit of an odd spring here in the Hill Country. Just when you think it’s time to put away the sweaters and pack the space heaters back into the shed the temps drop into the 30’s again.

We’ve been getting some rain though, and we won’t complain about that.

One aspect I love about this area of Texas is that spring will last for months. The trees and bulb flowers started blooming in February and  next well get the wild flowers and those will last through April and May.
I’ve been keeping my camera with me and when we’re out and about I sometimes stop and capture some of the beauty.

Have a beautiful spring weekend where you are.



Monday, March 5, 2012

Until Then, Gramma

Today I ask you to indulge me. This is a long one…

It’s already been a month since my Gramma, my last grandparent, passed to her rest. She would have been 85 at the end of this month – that’s a “ripe old age” by most standards. Cropped_Scan_Pic0005 (2)

A month ago I was scrambling and making plans to attend her funeral in Kansas City. Part of my planning included getting my thoughts and memories down on paper so that if the opportunity arose, I could share them, or more likely, pass the paper off to my husband to read because I would be unable to.Marge_Mother's Day in K.ville 2011 #6311

I went to Kansas City fully prepared – laptop computer and printer in tow, but for whatever reason, I couldn’t find my file in my laptop, or remotely on my desktop at home, when the time came to print it that morning. Thankfully, I had the entire family ready to go ahead of schedule and we had more time than I expected for traveling to the cemetery, (note: never fully put your trust in a GPS…) so I tried to reconstruct what I had written. Brian took the kids down to the lobby of our hotel and I started writing.

I finished with just seconds to spare to get us there five minutes before the scheduled start, (I thought), and we were on our way. I had checked with family for the correct address the night before and the trip was only going to take half the time, according to the GPS, than I had expected it would.

Long story short – we were late. It was embarrassing and horrible, but there wasn’t anything I could do about it. I was even more embarrassed to find out later that they had delayed starting (in the -7 degree temps) hoping we would get there.

And the real kicker? I never read what I had taken the time to write.

But I believe in the Lord’s timing and trust His plans, even if I don’t understand them. He works all things together for good for those that love Him and are called according to His purpose. (Romans 8:28)

So today I share what I wrote that morning. I know you didn’t know my Gramma, but trust me when I say that she was a wonderful woman.

Gramma was just a couple of years younger than I am now when I was born, which is pretty unimaginable in itself. But she really knew what she was doing. She was an expert at grand-parenting from the get-go. sara fish (2)

She told me so many times about how “tickled” she got the Christmas that I was three years old and received my first trike. She was putting it together and I got in there with her, whacking away with a hammer, “helping” the only way I knew to.

When I was four, and my mother was still a staunch believer in the myth that hair would grow in thicker if you kept it pixie short, Gramma was there to the rescue with my very own, frosted, shag wig. While mom didn't want me wearing it in public, Gramma even let me wear it to the grocery store when I was with her. Cropped_Picture_025

AM 09 322I loved sleep-overs at her house – she'd let me play dress-up with her silky clothes, high heels, a little lipstick and even some sparkly baubles from the top drawer of her dresser. My favorite part was snuggling down between her and Grampa at night in their giant king-sized bed while watching Johnny Carson. 100_1744

I was never afraid sitting on the gas tank of one of the mini bikes when she would putter us down to the “bubblegum store”. She was an excellent driver – even when making ambulance runs to the emergency room post dog-bite or at what seemed like 100 miles an hour around dead-mans curve on the way to Bolivar. Aunt Margaret (& Katie), Grampa & Gramma, Dad, Mom (& my dog Buttons), Aunt Margie and me -- on the new Trail 70's.

Cropped_Scan_Pic0043 (2)

She was a superior craftswoman – teaching me my first chain stitch at 8 years and crocheting me afghans that kept me warm at night when I was away at boarding academy (and also saved me from having to make my bed each day.) One of her crocheted angels still sits atop of one of my Christmas tree every year. One project she never finished, that I'd always wished she would, was making a Santa's Sleigh from a turkey carcass she kept over the the stairs to the basement. That one always had me wondering and I fondly think of her each time I see a turkey dressed.PTDC0029

Do I need to mention her culinary skills? Gramma was there to teach me the art of making turtles with leftover biscuit dough, and tiny cinnamon rolls with extra pie crust bits. I believe she had the first microwave oven ever invented, (which might still be on the counter down at the lake) and the only red refrigerator I've ever seen. Gramma made my birthday cakes several times, the most memorable were a doll cake with a full skirt and then when I turned 8, it was the first two-tiered cake I'd ever had. Yellow and green with a little turtle on top playing a grand piano. But no matter what she made, you felt blessed, whether it was bologna on white bread with the crust cut off, Beef stew, chicken and dumplings, wedding cakes or pies... Oh, the pies...

I don't think I realized just how fragile she was at the end – it was hard to notice when she would still sit cross-legged in her chair. She would still smile so big when I would walk in the room. I'd give her a big hug and kiss and remind her who I was, “her favorite grandchild” and then she'd swat me – because I knew better than to accuse her of playing favorites. The fact is, no matter who was with her – we knew we were her favorite.

Of course I miss her. I miss the smell of her dusting powder, her whistling through her teeth, singing silly songs from the 40’s, her teasing and her big smile.

Nothing will be better than meeting her again when the Lord returns – no burn scars, no bald spot, no aching back, but still with that spry personality we all will miss so much until then.

The Gospel of John 5:28 and 29 says; (in red print, since Jesus is speaking) “Do not marvel at this; for the hour is coming in which all who are in the graves will hear His voice and come forth – those who have done good, to the resurrection of life, and those who have done evil, to the resurrection of condemnation.”DSCN4077

Revelation 21:1-7

1 Then I saw “a new heaven and a new earth,” for the first heaven and the first earth had passed away, and there was no longer any sea. 2 I saw the Holy City, the new Jerusalem, coming down out of heaven from God, prepared as a bride beautifully dressed for her husband. 3 And I heard a loud voice from the throne saying, “Look! God’s dwelling place is now among the people, and he will dwell with them. They will be his people, and God himself will be with them and be their God. 4 ‘He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death’ or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away.”

5 He who was seated on the throne said, “I am making everything new!” Then he said, “Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

6 He said to me: “It is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To the thirsty I will give water without cost from the spring of the water of life. 7 Those who are victorious will inherit all this, and I will be their God and they will be my children.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...