Happy Thanksgiving!


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter “H”

letter-h

Happy Thanksgiving!

Tonight we’re having our family feast. But this morning I’m going to the high school to the twins’ Life Skills Class for a pre-feast! Their special education teacher is amazing and the class puts on quite a spread. She goes way above and beyond. Before I leave to go this morning I’ll put my own turkey in the roaster.

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The rolls are made, all the pies and the Cherry Fluff.  The green beans are ready to go. I wanted to get more done yesterday but I’m fighting some sort of sore throat thing again and just didn’t have the energy. So today I’ll finish up the corn pudding, sweet potatoes, mashed potatoes and gravy and stuffing. Yes, this is a carb-filled feast. Oh. Yum.

pic novemberThis year is very special because I’ll have all my sons at the table for the first time in almost three years. I’ll also have four granddaughters and some friends. And while most people will be enjoying their feast on Thursday, I’ll probably be sleeping.

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Food is a funny thing. I’ve noticed that it puts all the men in my life in a great mood when I’m in the kitchen cooking. I get more hugs and kisses. Whether we like it or not, we humans do equate food with love.

foodequalsloveAnd I’m grateful on this Thanksgiving to have so much of both, aren’t you?

Have A Doggone Happy Thanksgiving

What are your family’s favorite dishes at Thanksgiving? What kind of stuffing do you serve? Corn bread, oyster, or traditional? Weigh in!

And have a doggone Happy Thanksgiving!

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Cherry Fluff Recipe

The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop!
My boys all have their favorites that I’m “required” to make each Thanksgiving.
Jesse’s favorite are my homemade rolls. I’ll be making those tomorrow.
rolls
The other three boys all request my Cherry Fluff. And since it’s insanely easy to make, I am happy to oblige. They ask for it both at Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s sinfully fattening and comforting. For some reason, for my boys at least, it tastes like home.
Another reason I love making this is that it’s one more thing I can make a day ahead and refrigerate until it’s time to eat. It can also double as a dessert and looks especially pretty in goblets. I put it on the table in a crystal bowl and it’s very pretty that way, too.
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If you make this, please send me a picture and let me know how you liked it!
I always double this recipe to make a large enough batch to have left overs. It doesn’t last long around here!
The following recipe includes pineapple and some people add coconut, but my husband doesn’t like either, so I leave them out and it’s still delicious. You can also leave out the nuts.

Cherry Fluff Salad

  • 1 8 oz container Cool Whip
  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1  can cherry pie filling
  • 1 20 oz can crushed pineapple, well drained
  • 2 cups mini marshmallows
  • 1 cup shredded coconut
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans

Combine the first four ingredients in a large bowl. Gently fold in the remaining three ingredients. Refrigerate at least one hour before serving.

Another variation on the Cherry Fluff theme can be found here. I love this serving idea, don’t you?

What are some of your family’s favorites? I want to know!

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Tweet this: Cherry Fluff Recipe a winner for your Thanksgiving table!

 

 

 



G is for Gratefulness


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

This post is brought to you by the Letter G

Gratefulness.

It’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about lately.

My life is in an uncomfortable place financially. I get discouraged that at my age, I’m still struggling.

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Of course, this is because of choices we’ve made: to minister in the rural United States. We have no retirement because of this choice. We have no savings. No insurance. And it’s easy sometimes for me to feel afraid and scared if I think too much about the future and “what ifs.”

If I’m not careful, I can get into a mode of whining instead of praising.

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I can get into a rut of trying to figure it out and fix it myself. Applying for jobs (as if I have time for one more job), looking for a greener pasture, begging God for an answer, feeling neglected because I don’t have a nicer house, or car or whatever temporal thing the enemy throws up in my face to cause me to think God loves others more than me.

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But as I’ve wrestled with this season of discontent, God has sent me answers: Be Still. Be grateful. Trust.

Be still? BE STILL? That’s hard for a fixer and a doer! Very hard! But He has confirmed it to me in several ways. First, through a message preached on a Sunday morning, and through scripture I’ve read. Then, in a tiny gift I received weeks ago but just today found and opened. It was a magnet that said, “Be still and know that I am God.. Psalm 46:10.”

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I laughed when I saw it. Okay, God. I get it. I get the message. You’ll take care of me while I obey. I trust You even when it doesn’t make sense and all around me is debt and bills and a scary economy. I trust You the way the little birds do. You are up to something good on my behalf. I receive it. I need only to be still (Exodus 14:14).

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How fitting at Thanksgiving time that God would remind me of the need for gratefulness in overcoming fear for the future. I believe that gratefulness is what leads to contentment.

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The little sparrows aren’t fretting about tomorrow. They aren’t thinking that God loves them less because their nest isn’t as fancy as an eagle’s. They aren’t looking at those eagles and wishing for bigger wings.

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If the little birds can praise Him in their humble nests, then I, too, must praise Him and be grateful for the innumerable things He’s given me. My list of things I do have outnumbers what I don’t. This life is but for a season. I’ve lived most of my life with this realization. And I need to recognize when the enemy comes to fill my thoughts with fears and discontent.

Why should I worry_ Why should I (2)

I may never have a white silk couch or a beautiful mansion on this earth. But my ultimate destination is much more than I could ever imagine. When I’m feeling neglected because my furniture is worn and my car is rattling, I need only remember the priceless gift of His love.

His grace is more than enough.

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All the more reason to give thanks with a grateful heart.

twitter-117598_640Tweet this: God is up to something good!

 

 

 



 

F is for Food


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the letter “F”

RecipeBlogHop

I’m a little late posting for the letter “F”. I wanted to introduce my new recipe blog hop last week, but time constraints prevented it. So, I’ll introduce it here and hope you’ll join me this week when I provide the linky codes for The Most Delicious Blog Hop on the Internet!

You can grab the button to add to your side bar here: The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop!

The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop
If you’d like to participate, here are the Linky Codes for The Most Delicious Recipe Blog Hop . This is a great way to drive traffic to your site because people are looking for unique recipes for the holidays. In January folks will look for great waist-trimming recipes, too.
I hope you’ll join me in this new adventure! Let’s get cooking!

food

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E is for Erasmus, Education and Einstein


A to Z blog hop at Patterings.

Welcome to A to Z!

We’d love to have you join the fun, either blogging your way through the alphabet with us, or simply visiting. =) We dearly love visitors.

If you’re joining in the meme, be sure to link up with us at the end of this post. Since this is a blog hop, you can grab the code for the linky down there too. Find more info about the A to Z meme here.

Today’s Blog is brought to you by the Letter “E”

When I get a little money I buy books; (2)

I think Erasmus and I would have gotten along swimmingly. In fact, my husband, Mr. Himself, says (and he’s right): “If I give Karla $10 to spend on anything at all, she’ll buy a book.” He’s mystified by this phenomenon because he’s not a reader. He wasn’t taught to read phonetically and he also has ADD and dyslexia. These issues have hampered his reading ability his entire life. That’s not to say he isn’t intelligent. Trust me, he’s brilliant. But his inability to decode words is one of the reasons I’m passionate about literacy and learning.

literacy

I think it’s a crime for someone to get an education and graduate without being taught properly how to read. Mr. Himself has a bachelor’s degree. And it was hard-earned. He had to work at least twice as hard as someone else to get that piece of paper, all because schools in his day taught English reading as if it were Chinese.

Chinese%20logosIronically, in Erasmus’s day, very few books were available to people of my economic demographic. Only the very wealthy could afford books and only the very elite of society were able to read. This is how people were kept under the government’s thumb for so long. It’s one reason the Middle Ages is called The Dark Ages. And it’s also the reason Erasmus had very little money left for clothes and food (although, he does look nicely dressed in the picture below, don’t you think?).

holbein-erasmus

I can’t imagine not reading books. Reading has gotten me through many painful periods of my life. It allowed me to escape as a child into worlds I’d never otherwise go. Some of my fondest memories are summers of endless reading, especially at my grandmother’s. She would take me to a local church “basement sale” where I’d paw through boxes of books and pick out a few to take home. It’s where I found my first copy of The Girl of the Limberlost by Gene Stratton Porter. Once I learned to read, I don’t think there’s been a single day when I didn’t read something from a book. Books comfort me. I surround myself with them.

Capturebooks

E is also for Education and I’m an Education fanatic. I love learning, and I’m fascinated with how people learn. I love breaking things down into manageable steps. I’m intrigued by how the mind words. I especially enjoy teaching people who find learning difficult. I find it a personal challenge to figure out how to make things click for a struggling student. That’s why I’m pursuing another degree in Special Education. And I’m proud to inform you that my teacher’s college is #1!

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Did you know that Einstein (E is for Einstein!) was bad at algebra? I am, too. And it’s not that I couldn’t learn it. I did learn it. But I had to learn it a lot slower than other folks. Classes move so fast sometimes that those of us who need more time to grasp and practice a concept get left behind. This shouldn’t be. Everyone should be given the chance to learn at their own pace. It’s not a race.

_Everyone should be allowed to learn at-1 (2)

In the next few weeks I’m going to write about a fairly new and exciting educational concept I’m involved in. I’m eager to share it with you. Education is changing for the better. I can’t wait to be a part of a movement changing the way the world learns and perceives how learning should take place.

But all this education is for naught if we don’t acknowledge our need for wisdom. I always believed this and spouted this to my kids and friends so often they got sick of hearing it:

_You can have a Harvard law degree and (2)

Now, that doesn’t mean I’d turn down one of those law degrees myself. But it does mean that as Christians, the most important knowledge and education we must have is that which is found in the only book that truly matters, God’s Word.

Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a-3 (2)

Only God’s Word can teach me what is most important to know. Yesterday (Wednesday, November 5, 2014) I finished reading the Bible cover to cover for only the second time in my life. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve studied different parts of the Bible in depth. I’ve taught classes on the Old Testament and the Life of Christ in Seminary. I’ve read the New Testament probably many times. But I’ve only read the entire Bible as a book, beginning to end, twice. I’m ashamed of that. One of my goals is to read it many more times before I die. I begin again tomorrow.

tomorrow

Yes, I love books, and I own hundreds of them and I can’t imagine a life without them. But out of the millions of books and gazillion words written, there is only one book that is TRUTH. And I’m grateful, so grateful, that I can read it.

Birdbooks

Tweet this: You can have a Harvard Law degree and still flunk heaven.

 

 

 

 



Don’t hate me because I’m doing NaNoWriMo

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I owe my current writing career to NaNoWriMo. I latched onto this November madness like it was a precious diamond in 2003 and I have yet to let go. I am quoted in the founder’s book, No Plot No Problem. As I’ve said before, I blame Chris Baty for the madness I experience now as a struggling writer.

no-plot-no-problem-baty-chris-9780811845052Way back then, I even had to borrow a lap top from Chris to participate. That’s when I learned I really could power through 50K words and not die. And once I did, I had the bug. There was no way I could live the rest of my life and not write stories. Up to that point, I thought I could only write non-fiction. I had no idea what an art fiction was.

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I’m a tough customer. Fiction has to be deep and I have to learn something from it in order to read it. I have many more nonfiction books in my library than I do fiction. I’m an insatiable life-long student. My kids say they can’t remember a time I wasn’t going to school and learning something new.

nanowrimoA lot of novelists think that NaNoWriMo is for beginners, but I’m here to tell you that writing 50K words in 30 days is nothing to sneeze at. And to think I did it the first time without a thought as to an outline or destination. I’m impressed with the person I was back then. I just sat down and wrote by the seat of my pants. I think the thing that separates me from a lot of people is that I’m not afraid to try and fail.

_You never fail until you stop trying._ (2)

This year I’m taking some college students with me on this crazy journey. We’re getting together tonight for a pep talk and will get together each week between now and 50K words. I’m excited because I love mentoring young writers.

Once Upon a Time (2)

Why don’t you do NaNoWriMo? And if you are doing it, what drives you to participate? Let me know in the comments below!

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Strong Girl Saturday: Different? That’s Way Okay! By Elaine Stock

Today’s Strong Girl post is written by friend and fellow author, Elaine Stock.

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Elaine Stock, Author

Can you see her? She’s the kindergartener reading a book in the corner because a speech impediment tossed bricks between her and the ability to make easy friends. She’s the one whose mom pushed her into awkward social situations that made her feel as if she were an elephant balancing on a tightrope while she watched her mom seclude herself behind a closed door. She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories. She’s the one who clung to God even before she understood the full meaning of faith.

girl-reading

She’s me. And I used to struggle with being what others typed as “different.”

The red and gold bracelet shimmy down her arm

The ankle bells clanks and rings

She hears music and dances steps that calm

Closing her eyes to life’s stings.

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Others laugh

They tease, they taunt

They think they’re cool, but they’re only half

If they really had it all, they wouldn’t have to flaunt.

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She hears the One who loves her so much

Her confidence isn’t dependent on the cruel

Her esteem, rather, comes from Him who has her in His clutch

She learns to love the others, but lives on His fuel.

(© Elaine Stock)

It’s taken me many years to learn that it’s okay to be me. Really, I’m not a bad person. Not freaky. Don’t mess with drugs or drink. I do no harm to others. I admit to owning a few quirks, but nothing in the too-seriously-weird category.

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What I’ve come to realize the past decades of my life is that everyone—without an exception—is singular, as well as we should be. God created each of us in His image, but like each kitten with patches and zigzag stripes or like each snowflake that falls, we are all unique. If we obey God’s words, then our individuality is very okay.

Elaineflower

The popular singer, Taylor Swift, recently said, “Maybe you’re not meant to fit in. Maybe you’re supposed to stand out.” Yay, Taylor! What a bold statement from someone in today’s times who is pressed to be outrageous, but instead is creating her own way and is enjoying each day.

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Be true to yourself. Be a good person. Believe in the One who created you with an expressed purpose. You won’t go wrong.

FRANKIE JOHN (07)

Rejoice in the good stuff. Ignore any discouragement.

Author Bio:

Elaine Stock never expected that a college major in psychology and sociology would walk her through the see-saw industries of food service and the weight-loss business; co-ownership with her husband in piano restoration; and ten years in community leadership. All great fodder for creating fiction.

In the spring of 2011 Elaine placed in the Semi-finals category in the ACFW Genesis Contest for her novel WALK WITH ME. In 2013 she received the honor of My Book Therapy’s Frasier Bronze Medalist award for NO GOING BACK. And in 2014 she was blessed with the news that her short story IN HIS OWN TIME won the People’s Choice Award in the FamilyFiction Contest and will be published in a printed anthology. Her short story, THE FOREVER CHRISTMAS GIFT is about to be released in CHRISTMAS TREASURES: A COLLECITON OF SHORT STORIES.

Elaine’s blog, Everyone’s Story has been graced by an awesome international viewership. She hosts weekly interviews and reflections from published authors, unpublished writers, and readers who share inspirational stories. Its viewership is dedicated to “Readers, Writers, and All Those In-between.”

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You can connect with Elaine at:

Website/blog: Everyone’s Story  elainestock.com

Twitter  http://www.twitter.com/ElaineStock

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/AuthorElaineStock

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Tweet this: She’s the serious one, yet a dreamer, the one who writes stories.