Saturday, November 29, 2008
Now, the cool thing about this is that I picked the number from the Integer generator and came back here to see who was number 15 and it was Veronica and today is her actual birthday.
Congratulations Veronica and Happy Birthday! She will be getting chocolate. She wanted chocolate and that is what she will get. :)
Thursday, November 27, 2008
I wanted to take a moment and say hello and wish you all a fun filled day with your family and friends.
There is much cooking and eating and football watching and game playing happening today. This is my favorite time of the year. This is a day set aside to thank God for the many blessings He has given us. Oh, He is worthy to be praised!!
We all have so much to be thankful for. I am thankful for all of you who stop by here and visit with us. I am thankful for your kind and generous hearts. I am thankful for your prayers. Siestas on Call. I think I should have titled our prayer page that. Hmmm....I might change the name to that. You all are so quick to intercede for each other and I am so thankful for this community of siestas in Christ! Thank you God for giving us to each other! God is Good.
I read George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation last night and I thought I would post it for you to read. Happy Thanksgiving!!
George Washington's 1789 Thanksgiving Proclamation
Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness:"
Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be; that we may then all unite in rendering unto Him our sincere and humble thanks for His kind care and protection of the people of this country previous to their becoming a nation; for the signal and manifold mercies and the favorable interpositions of His providence in the course and conclusion of the late war; for the great degree of tranquility, union, and plenty which we have since enjoyed; for the peaceable and rational manner in which we have been enable to establish constitutions of government for our safety and happiness, and particularly the national one now lately instituted for the civil and religious liberty with which we are blessed, and the means we have of acquiring and diffusing useful knowledge; and, in general, for all the great and various favors which He has been pleased to confer upon us.
And also that we may then unite in most humbly offering our prayers and supplications to the great Lord and Ruler of Nations and beseech Him to pardon our national and other transgressions; to enable us all, whether in public or private stations, to perform our several and relative duties properly and punctually; to render our National Government a blessing to all the people by constantly being a Government of wise, just, and constitutional laws, discreetly and faithfully executed and obeyed; to protect and guide all sovereigns and nations (especially such as have shown kindness to us), and to bless them with good governments, peace, and concord; to promote the knowledge and practice of true religion and virtue, and the increase of science among them and us; and, generally to grant unto all mankind such a degree of temporal prosperity as He alone knows to be best.
Given under my hand, at the city of New York, the 3d day of October, A.D. 1789.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Here's a sample of what to expect at your Thanksgiving tables. Please feel free to share your favorite recipes in the comments, if you'd like. I added a leftover recipe at the end, as well!
1 32 oz. pkg frozen hash browns
½ cup melted butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
12 oz. grated American cheese (I go to the deli and ask for a “chunk” of their American cheese...just tell them the thickest setting and that equals about 12 oz. This is the cheapest way to get and also find American cheese in block form)
1 8 oz carton sour cream
1 tsp. salt
½ tsp pepper
½ small onion chopped
2 cups crushed cornflakes
Preheat oven to 350. Place thawed potatoes in 9X13 dish. Mix together next 6 ingredients and pour over potatoes. (Press it in them really good) Top with cornflakes (crushed makes them not too hard) and drizzled with butter on top. Bake uncovered for 45 minutes.
From Tenille in Little Rock…I am sure a lot of us already have this Southern Cooking recipe! A trusty favorite
SWEET POTATO PIE
3 cups cooked sweet potatoes (round ones, mashed by hand no hand mixer)
1/3 cup real butter
1/3 cup sugar
2 eggs well beaten
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
Mix all the above and place in a well buttered 2 quart casserole pie dish.Then cover with topping:1/3 cup melted real butter1 cup brown sugar1/3 cup flour1 cup chopped pecans.
Mix together and place on top of the sweet potatoes mixture then bake for 25 minutes at 350 degrees.
*This is a great dish anytime of the year but especially for Christmas and Thanksgiving.
1 - 6oz package of cranberry gelatin (raspberry if cranberry is not available)
1 - 6oz package of strawberry gelatin
3 cups boiling water
2 - 16oz cans of whole berry cranberry sauce
1 - 20oz can crushed pineapples, drained
2 cups chopped pecans
Dissolve gelatin in boiling water. Stir in cranberry sauce. Add crushed pineapples. Add pecans. Chill 3 to 4 hours or overnight. I use a wire whisk for stirring and it works great. This will become a holiday tradition…enjoy!
*This is a delicious way to serve up cranberries!
3 packages of Corn Kits (bake according to package)
2-3 cans of biscuits (bake and cube like croutons)
1 stick of butter
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped onions
1 teaspoon poultry seasoning
salt/ pepper to taste
2-4 cans chicken broth
Sauté celery and onions in butter. Set aside to cool. After baking Corn Kits, crumble up with your hands and set aside. After baking biscuits, cut and cube like croutons. Mix (with hands in a large bowl) 5 cups of crumbled cornbread, 3 cups of cubed biscuits, 1 teaspoon poultry seasoning, ½ teaspoon salt, and pepper to taste. Pour cooled off celery and onions into bowl with cornbread and biscuit mixture. Toss with a big spoon and fold up. Pour one can at a time (may need 2-3 cans) of chicken broth into mixture until moist and soaked. Only fold, don’t toss with hands. Butter pan. Place mixture in pan. Bake uncovered for 1 hour at 350 to 400 degrees.
*This is our families easy version of a dressing that we make.
1 (30-32 oz pkg) frozen potato hash browns, THAWED
½ cup melted butter
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 ½ to 2 cups grated mild cheddar cheese
1 - 8oz carton sour cream
1 tsp salt
2 to 3 cups cornflakes
½ cup melted butter for cornflakes (optional)
Mix together ½ cup melted butter, cream of chicken soup, sour cream and salt. Add cheese and fold in thawed potatoes. Pour into a 9 x 13 baking dish. Top with crushed cornflakes and drizzle ½ cup melted butter over cornflakes (butter on cornflakes step is optional – taste great either way with or without the extra butter). Bake uncovered at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.
*Cooks Note: The night before I make this dish, I take the frozen package of hashbrowns from freezer and transfer to refrigerator to thaw overnight.
*This is great for breakfast or also makes a wonderful side dish for any meal. I like to serve it at Thanksgiving or Christmas with ham.
EASY APPLE-BERRY CRUMBLE PIE
1 ½ cups quick oats, uncooked
1 cup all purpose flour
½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
½ tsp baking soda
10 tbsp butter, melted
1 – 21 oz can apple pie filling
¾ cup sweetened dried cranberries
1/3 to ½ cup whole berry cranberry sauce
1 ½ tsp lemon juice or ½ lemon
½ tsp ground cinnamon
Heat oven to 375 degrees. Lightly spray pie plate. In medium bowl combine oats, flour, brown sugar and baking soda. Add melted butter and mix well. Set aside ¾ cup oat mixture for topping. Press remaining oat mixture firmly on bottom and sides of pie plate. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly golden brown. Using same bowl. Stir together pie filling, cranberries, whole berry cranberry sauce, lemon juice and cinnamon. Pour over hot crust, spread evenly. Sprinkle remaining oat mixture evenly over filling. Bake 18 to 22 minutes or until topping is golden brown. Serve warm or at room temperature. *Cooks Note: Do not cover pie so that the crust will stay crisp.
*This is a great pie.
SWEET POTATO SOUFFLE
1 lb. 13 Oz can sweet potato - drained
3/4 stick softened butter
1-1 1/2 Cups sugar
1 Cup milk
1/4 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
Mix all ingredients with mixer. Pour into 2 quart baking dish, and back at 325 degrees for 35-45 minutes (or until semi-firm in the center). Remove from oven and add topping (below).
3/4 stick butter, melted
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup chopped pecans
3/4 cup cornflake crumbs
Mix all together and sprinkle over top of semi-cooked souffle. Return to oven for an additional 15 minutes, or until center is firm.
Recipe Courtesy of Gourmet Magazine
10 ounces mushrooms, sliced thin (about 4 cups)
5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
1 3/4 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
1/4 cup dry white wine
10 ounces spaghetti
3 cups coarsely chopped cooked turkey, including cooked giblets if desired
1 cup cooked peas
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan
1/3 cup fine fresh bread crumbs
In a large heavy saucepan cook the mushrooms in 1/4 cup of the butter over moderate heat, stirring, until most of the liquid they give off has evaporated, stir in the flour, and cook the mixture over low heat, stirring, for 3 minutes. Add in a stream the milk, the broth, and the wine, stirring, bring the mixture to a boil, stirring, and simmer the sauce for 5 minutes. ( I add a teaspoon of tarragon also, just because I love the flavor) - In a kettle of boiling salted water cook the spaghetti until it is al dente and drain it well.
In a large bowl combine well the spaghetti, the mushroom sauce, the turkey, the peas, and salt and pepper to taste, stir in 1/3 cup of the Parmesan, and transfer the mixture to a buttered shallow 3 quart casserole. In a small bowl combine well the remaining 1/3 cup Parmesan, the bread crumbs, and salt and pepper to taste, sprinkle the mixture evenly over the Tetrazzini, and dot the top with the remaining 1 tablespoon butter, cut into bits. The Tetrazzini may be prepared up to this point 1 month in advance and kept frozen, covered. Bake the Tetrazzini in the middle of a preheated 375 degree oven for 30 to 40 minutes, or until it is bubbling and the top is golden.
From Debbie Elrod, Seymour, TN
Tuesday, November 25, 2008
My name is Connie Hopkins and Christmas is the best time of year ever!
My mother Helga is from Germany and I have a lot of wonderful memories of visiting my Omi & Opi over there.
My Opi passed away in 1965 and my parents divorced about a year later. My Mom struggled as a single working Mom and it was at this time that she stopped speaking German in the home and meals were whatever was quick and easy to make, after a long day of work and riding the bus to get home to me.
My Omi would send us "Care Packages" from time to time and I always remember the wonderful chocolate bars, my Advent Calendar as well as Liebkuchen and Gummy Bears, (this was before anyone over here even knew what a gummy bear was!)
In acknowledgement of my German heritage and as a way of sharing something with my own children I began this tradition in our own home. The day we decorate our tree for the Christmas Holiday, they each got to open a small gift, in it was a special ornament, just for them.
The thought has been that when the time came and they moved out, they took all of their ornaments, except for the "Baby's First Christmas", so they could decorate their own trees. While we decorated, I would put on Christmas music, the "older" stuff that I remember from my childhood (Percy Faith, Mitch Miller and so on).
The best part though was the Liebkuchen! Liebkuchen are small gingerbread cookies, glazed, dipped in chocolate and so on. We would munch on these and drink hot chocolate and share about our other Christmas' over the years.
On Christmas mornings when opening their stockings, they would always find the same kind of good chocolate bars I had in my "Care Packages" as a little girl. This year marks our newest season in our lives. Our youngest daughter got married last week and she is beginning traditions of her own. Of our 4 children, the 3 oldest, all girls are now married and only our 18 year old son Charles, is still at home. This Christmas will be the quietest ever and much more reflective for me I'm sure. I'll be remembering Christmas' from long ago when our children were little and the wonder and magic of Christmas was seen through the purest and most innocent of eyes!
Keep up with our family at:http://edelweisstexas.blogspot.com/
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One & Only, who came from the Father, full of grace & truth."John 1:14
Monday, November 24, 2008
And they followed. First her mother-in-law and father-in-law. Her mother-in-law had spent the past year caring for her every physical need and homeschooling her children on the days she was too sick to do so. Her father-in-law was a mighty prayer warrior. I personally had seen him walking the sanctuary of the church in the middle of the day, praying outloud for deliverance for his son’s beloved wife.
Then her husband came with four precious children in tow – from the 8 year old daughter down to Gabriel, the 9 month old baby whose precious mother chose no treatment so he could live to take his first breath outside the womb. And they surrounded her. Her children were at her side and put their sweet little hands on her head.
And we sang:
How great is our God, sing with me,
How great is our God,
And all will see how great, how great is our God!
It was a moment I will never forget. For we were surely coming up on Thanksgiving and I begged God to answer my question how having this family at the altar of our church, begging for mercy – pleading for a miracle – could possibly be anything for which we could offer up thanksgiving.
And then I heard Him speak. As the singing faded in my spirit, His voice spoke loud and clear.
All of these things are for your benefit. And as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. (2 Corinthians 4:15 NLT)
I hear you, LORD, but what does this mean for this moment in time. How does this help Jenny?
And He answered my question, right then and there in a way that only seeing with my eyes could comprehend.
More people came. Some to pray for her. Many to pray for themselves. Right there in the middle of our worship service, before the pastor ever opened up the Word of God to preach, there were people who came to know Him for the first time. Wayward hearts were mended. Families restored. Marriages healed. Children came. Parents came. Grandparents came. Tears flowed. Lives were changed.
And we sang:
How great is our God, sing with me,
How great is our God,
And all will see how great, how great is our God!
I’ve never forgotten that moment in time. Every Thanksgiving I think of it. It has changed my whole perspective of what this season means for us – for the believer.
This Thursday as you go to the table with your family and friends, don’t put your troubles on a shelf and try to pretend that they don’t exist. Life is hard. Times are tough. But God is good and He has a plan and purpose for all of these things that we experience.
The Apostle Paul said it like this:
We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed and broken. We are perplexed, but we don't give up and quit. We are hunted down, but God never abandons us. We get knocked down, but we get up again and keep going. Through suffering, these bodies of ours constantly share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies. Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be obvious in our dying bodies. So we live in the face of death, but it has resulted in eternal life for you. But we continue to preach because we have the same kind of faith the psalmist had when he said, "I believed in God, and so I speak." We know that the same God who raised our Lord Jesus will also raise us with Jesus and present us to himself along with you.
All of these things are for your benefit. And as God's grace brings more and more people to Christ, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are quite small and won't last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! So we don't look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever. (2 Corinthians 4:8-18 NLT)
Now will you join me and sing:
How great is our God, sing with me,
How great is our God,
And all will see how great, how great is our God!
Happy Thanksgiving, sweet friends!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Karen P. - 9th
Ang - 11th
ToKnowHim(not Shelly)- 14th
Tammy - 15th
Kristi B. -16th
Pat S. - 23rd
Dianne - 23rd
Missy - 26th
Saturday, November 22, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Will you please vote again? I am updating the voting so that Kathy and Marilyn are included. Vote once more, please! And I have no idea how to fix the spacing in the voting poll, but must go and get prepared for our trip. Grace is a good thing!!
OH, and Siestas! I am also looking for our Kylie's new and newly escaped hamster this afternoon--needing God's help to find the critter--not a blessing...no, no! UPDATE: I found the escapee this afternoon with help from our cat with bad intentions for the little hamster named Tacy. Tacy is now safe and sound in her cage. Thanks for praying!
Brandy in AR
Cindy T. from GA
Cindy H. - Playground
CJ (pic from VA)
crval (pic from CT)
Jan in GA
Jeannie from WA
Judy (pic from VA)
Kathy in AR
Kelli - Pumpkin Cross
Lavonda in GA
Marilyn in MS
Melinda in FL (pic from NM)
Michelle in WV
Natalie in NC
Patricia in WV
Rachel in MS
Sharon in NC
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
Monday, November 17, 2008
"Our greatest fear should not be of failure. Our greatest fear should be that we actually succeed at something that doesn’t really matter."
As I read over those words, I began to make a mental list of all of the things that I strive for and the things that I really put a lot of energy and time into. Don’t get me wrong. Most of these things are really good things, noble things, worthy things. But I began to look at my “list” and wonder, “God, all of these things mean a lot to me. But what on this list means a lot to You? Change my perspective today to Your Kingdom agenda. I don’t want to get to the end of my journey here and wonder if everything that I worked for meant a hill of beans. I want to know that what I was successful at were things that were on Your Kingdom calendar for me and that I did what You had planned and purposed for me in my generation before the beginning of time.”
And as He does so often, He brought to me a friend’s challenge as I sat in her home for a Bible study over a year ago. She challenged us to lay down the many, many things that we are working for, striving for, becoming exhausted for and ask God to give us our “one thing.”
David had one thing.
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
He also heard from God on one thing and then two things.
One thing God has spoken, two things have I heard: that you, O God, are strong, and that you, O Lord, are loving. Surely you will reward each person according to what he has done. (Psalm 62:11-12)
Mary desired one thing – the better thing.
"Martha, Martha," the Lord answered, "you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her." (Luke 10:41-42)
The blind man that Jesus healed knew one thing.
He replied, "Whether he is a sinner or not, I don't know. One thing I do know. I was blind but now I see!" (John 9:25)
Paul had one thing.
Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 3:13-14)
So there I sat -- wondering what my one thing was. I have so many desires and plans and dreams. Desires for my children. Plans for my husband and me. Dreams for my family in the years to come. But in that moment I was challenged to come up with the one thing that I desired most. What would it be?
In that moment the thought occurred to me. It sounded something like this. “Lord, I want what David wanted – to dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon Your beauty, to see You for Who You really are and to see myself as You see me, and to spend the rest of my days seeking You in Your Word and through Your presence. I want this for my husband. I want this for my children.”
Let me tell you. If we ask Him to let us dwell in his presence all of the days of our life and to see Him for Who He really is, our perspective has no choice but to change. Our calendars and the things that we put our time and energy into will change. It changes our view. We begin to see every conversation, every chance meeting, every trip to Target, everything we write on our blogs or on other’s blogs in the form of comments – everything changes. It all becomes a chance to be successful at one thing – making His name famous and giving the hope and freedom that He came to bring.
Living life with His Kingdom on our mind and feeling His heartbeat in every moment of our day will radically change the things in which we want to be successful. It might mean giving up some good things that we work hard at but are not His assignment for us. It might mean a shift in our ministry opportunities. It means looking at every opportunity and asking Him, “God, is this what You want me to do for You today? Is this my own desire for my life or is this something that You desire for me?
So what about you? As you sit down this Monday morning, planning out your day and your week, what one thing is He calling you out to do for Him today? As you go about the practicality of today’s responsibilities, ask Him to show you one thing that is paramount – most important – and have Him weave that theme, that purpose, into everything that He has ordained for you today.
God, what is that one thing that you have for your Siestas today? We desire You above everything else in our lives and want to know that our journey through this life wasn't traveled for nothing. We ask that Your Holy Spirit rain down on us this morning and empower us to not just go through the routine today for routine's sake. But help us make this moment in time -- today, November 17, 2008 -- count for something that is eternal and important on your Kingdom calendar. We don't want to miss You today. Draw our attention to You all day long. We want to gaze upon Your beauty, Lord, and we want to sit in Your presence and know what it is that You desire for us today. We absolutely adore You, Father. Our hearts are Your's and Your's alone. Stop us in our tracks if we are every drawn to lesser loves! Amen.
Siestas, thanks for sticking with me on a long post today! I thank you for letting me serve you in this small way each week. I love to read your comments and to hear your radical love for Christ in each one. You bless me!
Sunday, November 16, 2008
I got an email from our Miesta Moose Mama, Melana for a prayer request for her daughter Emily. Please read below and begin praying for her.
Thank you for your prayers!!
I clicked on the little prayer request picture, but I wasn't sure how it worked. Is it ok if I send this to you and maybe we could ask the siestas to pray for my daughter. Emily is 10 years old.
Emily has a "funny" mole that needs to be removed and biopsied. This will take place on November 19th. Tim (my husband) has a history of "funny" moles that were nothing. His mother has a history of "funny" moles that were cancer. The doctor said that it is very rare for a child of Emily's age to have melanoma. Please pray for this to be the nothing kind of mole. Emily is somewhat concerned about the surgery itself, so pray for her peace about this. Whatever the outcome, God will be glorified! Thank-you so much for your prayers on behalf of Emily.
aka Moose Mama
Here is her email:
I am Tiffany Morse, I am a Siesta! Hurray! I did go to the fiesta in San Antonio and had an absolute blast...
I drove down with Because i love you...
and roomed with Fuzzytop
Oh my did I have a blast with every one...
Well here is the deal
Thanksgiving, We would love to extend an invite to our home for anyone who lives in the Dallas area and doesn't have a place to go for the Thanksgiving meal... We will eat and the kids will play and there will be football on the TV, I would be honored to serve you in this way. One of my favorite things to do is to cook for Thanksgiving, however all our family lives so far away we have smaller dinners! Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if your interested...
For His Glory
If I lived in the Dallas area I would take her up on her offer because it sounds like my kind of Thanksgiving!!!
Thank you Tiffany!!
Friday, November 14, 2008
When I have the money in hand from them all, I will be sending a check to Life Outreach for $335 on top of the $2165 we have already sent to them.
I will not re-order until I have a list of at least 100 people.
Here's what I'll do.
1) I am now compiling a list of people, number of cookbooks and their email information, so I can contact them.
2) I won't have anyone send payment until the list reaches 100.
3) When the list reaches 100, I will email everyone to send payment.
4) When I receive payment from everyone I will re-order with a one week lead time to print it.
5) Then I'll ship them out to everyone.
Oh, and just to remind you the cost is $18 each plus shipping ($6.00 for one, $7.25 for two $9.00 for three and so on). If you wonder why the cost went up from the $13.50 originally advertised, please read here.
My email address is chrishollysmith at msn dot com. Email me, if you want to be on the list. It may be spring, before we get to 100. Then again, they may be ready by Christmas.
Thursday, November 13, 2008
We haven't discussed our Bible studies in awhile and I am sure some of you are winding down your studies for the year. I know our Jenny Hope is already deep into Esther. I have bought the study but haven't started it yet. I am on my last week of Discerning God's Voice. It has been a timely study for me and God has taught me so much.
A few questions for you:
1} What are a few things that have truly stood out to you in your Bible studies? Perhaps a particular verse that has ministered to you or encouraged you. Please share with us.
2} Have you bought your Esther workbook yet? If so, when will you start the study?
3} Just for fun: What Bible study do you think Beth will write next?
Okay, next week our Fall Photo contest and our birthday giveaway and our cd giveaway.
Have a great weekend Siestas!!
We love you,
Wednesday, November 12, 2008
On the way, we'll stop in Grapevine, Texas at the Rainforest Cafe to meet up with a family for supper. Funny thing is, we've never met. We're Aggies and we're bloggers and we love the Lord and our families. This world o' blog is such a wonderful blessing, isn't it? 'Makes this big world seems so much smaller.
On Thanksgiving day, we'll divide our time between both families--as we have done for years, except for the past three. So we are ANTICIPATING!THIS TIME!TOGETHER! Chris is already dreaming about the wonderful dishes his mom will make. And me? I'm just thinking about the laughter that we'll partake in together. Mmm...I can feel the bubbles of laughter rising right this moment, ready to spill out.
Every year, there is especially one dish that both families ask me to make--Broccoli Rice Casserole. I found it in the Austin Junior Forum's Lone Star Legacy cookbook. I have had this cookbook for 16 years--from Texas A&M days when I worked at Wenonah's Pantry.
This was truly the cookbook, which carried me from non-cooking, except for Ramen noodles, to being known for my cooking. We have journeyed together, this cookbook and I. It is filled with treasures and possibilities!
So here it is...Broccoli Rice Casserole:
3 T. butter
1/2 c. celery, finely chopped
1 - 8 1/2 oz. can water chestnuts, drained and chopped finely
1 c. Vidalia onion, chopped finely
2 pkgs. (10 oz. each) frozen chopped broccoli
1 c. rice, cooked
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 jar (8 oz.) Cheez Whiz
Melt butter in a frying pan over medium heat. Sauté onions, celery and water chestnuts for about 5-8 minutes or until the onions are translucent. Prepare broccoli according to package directions; drain. Prepare rice, according to package directions.
Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes. (May be prepared in advance and frozen before baking. To cook it frozen, bake at 300 degrees for one hour.)
So that's it--now my secret is out!
Now for some Siesta Fiesta Cookbook talk... I have 16 cookbooks left. Then I will not re-order until I have a list of at least 100 people. Here's what I'll do. If you miss the last 16, email me and I will begin a list. I won't have anyone send payment until the list reaches 100.
Then I'll send out an email to everyone that we're ready to order. They can send payment. And I will have them printed and ship them out. So this may be in the spring, when the next order is filled.
So, tell me what are your plans for Thanksgiving? Do you have any must-haves or leftover recipes for Thanksgiving? Tell us about either or both in the comments or email me at chrishollysmith at msn dot com with your recipes.
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
My name is Connie Hopkins and I live in Denton, Texas. I brought my best friend Brenda Moore (no relation to the Head Siesta) to the San Antonio Alamodome where we had a blast! She is my twin siesta from a different miesta, we're like 2 peas in a pod only she is the kinder, gentler, nicer one! My blog is titled
"SLIM PICKIN'S FROM MY BRAIN"
Go here to visit my blog
I am 48 years old but have lived 2 or 3 lifetimes in that span of time! I am married to an incredible man, so Godly and loving that I am still amazed after 22 years that he took me on! I come from a lively but dysfunctional background. My mother Helga is from Germany and grew up in the midst of World War 2. Growing up I was always fascinated from the stories of her childhood; her uncle had been exterminated by the Nazi's, she watched bombers level her grandparents town, she lived under Russian occupation and was on the last train of refugees to settle in what would become West Germany, all the other relatives wound up behind the Iron Curtain (her story is totally a "God thing").
My father's family history was equally interesting, his stepfather was an alcoholic who beat him and my grandmother, he married his first wife at 16 and had 4 children before divorcing her, joined the Army and was sent to Germany where he met my mother and they both knew Elvis Presley! I was their only child but they divorced when I was just 5 years old. My claim to fame is that I have been to Graceland when Elvis was still alive! I was only 3 so I don't remember much, other than my father knocking on his door!
Growing up in the 1960's, the daughter of a single Mom, a foreigner, as well as being Catholic was interesting to say the least. My Mom struggled to make ends meet and sadly my father was not very involved in my life. When I did see him, I ached for what was missing in my life, a whole, healthy, intact family. I was jealous of my older half-siblings as well as my 5 younger half-siblings all of whom lived with my father and stepmother. Since I was the only child my mother and he ever had, I joke that I am an only child from a large family!
The ache grew stronger as my self-esteem grew weaker. I always felt that somehow their divorce was my fault. If I was prettier, smarter, better, blah, blah, blah, they would still be together and I wouldn't be so lonely! My mother managed to put me through Catholic grade school, Catholic High school, ballet lessons and we even visited my grandparents back in Germany! As an adult now, I am in awe of her quiet strength and resolve, she is a strong woman!
Sadly, I didn't appreciate those things as a teenager. I had my own selfish agenda and was looking for something to fill the void in my heart! I got pregnant with my daughter Jennifer when I was 16 years old. Her father and I got married but it was one of those all too common teenage statistics of marriage and divorce. I remarried when I was 20 and had my daughter Jessica when I was 21. Not long after she was born, God miraculously saved me.
My father had been saved when I was 17 but I had been incredibly angry with him and wasn't interested in anything he had to say! I had been to a Billy Graham Crusade when I was only 9 years old and I remember going forward when they gave the invitation. My mother bless her heart, told them it was "okay that we were already going to a church"! I didn't realize that God had laid a claim on my heart way back then and He had never given up on me!
When Jessica was only 2 years old, her father walked out on us. Once again I was divorced, but this time I was 23 and had 2 daughters to raise! Even though I had been saved I hit rock bottom and even entertained thoughts of suicide. God revealed Himself to me though in an Incarnate experience and I have never been the same! Hebrews 13:5, in the flesh! From that day on I resolved I was done looking for love. God was going to have to fill the void or send someone my way. I determined my girls would be better off being raised in a Christian home with God filling the role of their father rather than my promiscuous lifestyle of shooting darts out there, hoping that one would land in the right place.
When I surrendered, something wonderful happened, or should I say some ONE wonderful happened. God brought my husband Dave into my life. He had never been married but took on me and the baggage of TWO ex-husbands. He took my daughters and made them his very own. He is an incredible man and I love him with every ounce of my being! He's my best friend and confidant. He has stood by me through a Prodigal child, my chronic illness, raising Jennifer & Jessica as well as 2 flesh and blood children of our own. He hasn't been able to relate to the ache that had been in my heart but he has loved me fiercely through it!
I am SO incredibly blessed! MY life has come full circle. My mother remarried a wonderful man when I was in high school. Even when I was at my most un-lovely, he made me his own child. Pop is 78 now and has been the daddy to me that I needed. My kids forget that he is my stepfather. My mother turned 70 this year and I have grown closer to her as the years have gone by. She is a beautiful woman, inside and out, the best part is that they are both Believers!
When I turned 40 God decided it was time to deal with my hardened heart in relation to my father. God used a Bible Study called "In My Father's House" to help me come to terms with that relationship. God was able to not only restore that relationship to where we are close but for the first time in my life, I am whole, healthy and happy! My father is a wonderful, Godly man who is the fiercest Prayer Warrior I have ever met! God has enabled me to not only extend forgiveness to him but to also feel compassion for him, he had no positive father role-model; in his life either!
God is SO incredibly good, all the time. HE has indeed restored what the locusts have eaten! I will sing and shout His praises until the day I go to be with Him because NO ONE, could ever do in my life what he has done!
Keep up with our family at:
My blog is here
"The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One & Only, who came from the Father, full of grace & truth."
Monday, November 10, 2008
Good morning, Siestas! Can you believe it is already Monday? And the second Monday in November, to boot. Time is marching on, isn’t it?
I want to thank you all for your kind words of encouragement last week. I love how I’m starting to meet new friends already. I’m astounded at your love for Jesus and so thankful that you also let that love spill over so that you build up and spur your Siestas on. How remarkable that God has set up this little “Body within the Body” right here on the internet?
As I was thinking about all of your names and faces this week, I was reminded of my little 7 year old. My sweet girl has the biggest, bluest eyes and when she was about 4 she came to me with a need that I will never forget.
“I need more of me!” Her little 4-year old fingers were spread wide, both hands. “I need lots more of me, Mommy.” I tried to understand what my child was trying to tell me. “Why, honey, do you need more of you?” Her baby blue eyes looked at me, almost tearing, and said, “I don’t have any friends to play with. I need more ‘me’s’ to play with.” No longer confused by her need, I instantly understood. She was expressing her desire to have fellowship with someone just like her; someone to whom she wouldn’t have to explain how or why she was feeling the way she was feeling; someone who could just come and play.
As I have nurtured and raised my children, I’ve learned so much. My son has taught me how to look at the world from his point of view; through the eyes of a little boy who is inquisitive and always seeking to know the deeper meaning of everything. However, raising my daughter has taught me more and more things about myself. We’re girls! We’re alike in our emotions, our feelings, and our needs. In this moment of time, she was teaching me about my need for godly relationships.
I remember having the same feeling as my little one not too long ago. I was on my way home from Bible study and God had been extra good to us that day. His glory had fallen on our little room at church and our hearts were overwhelmed with His love. I left wanting more — I left wanting to talk about Him more. As I was unloading the groceries from my car, I said to Him out loud — “God, I wish I had someone to just sit down and talk to about You!”
We never grow up and out of the need for relationships. We were fashioned and designed by the God of Creation for just that.
“For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him.” (Colossians 1:16)
Our very existence is based on the fact that God wanted to meet with us, have fellowship with us. He wanted to be our God and for us to be His people. In turn, He also designed us to be in relationship with each other. His Word, in fact, is very clear that there are tremendous benefits to being involved with other people just like you:
“And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds. Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another - and all the more as you see the Day approaching.” (Hebrews 10:24-25)
I love having this place to write my feelings, but I have to tell you it thrills my heart to no end to get a response back from someone who has read something that God has whispered into my ear and “gets it!” And then to have a “dialogue” together of His goodness…well, that is just overwhelming!
How lovely and wonderful that God not only gives us our family and friends who live across the street or in our “everyday, real life world,” but He has also given us this place to come and meet with other women who love Him and want to know Him more!
A Siesta Fiesta…could we have ever imagined it?
So in your comments, let us know how He is working in your life today! We are encouraged in our own faith journey when we hear of His faithfulness and goodness in the lives of His children. Maybe you have a scripture that He is asking you to share so that one of your fellow Siestas can know that He is watching over them today and that He really sees what is going on in their life. Today let’s “fan the flame” in our Siestas…spur them on! You just never know when God speaks to you in order for you to speak life into someone else!
I bless you, my sweet friends! May His love overflow in your life today. I pray that each person with whom you come into contact today is divinely placed there by God Himself in order to teach you, encourage you and just plain love you! May you see Jesus in the faces of your friends today.
Thanks for coming out to play today! He has been good, hasn't He?
Friday, November 7, 2008
I want to share with you a new prayer page for your prayer requests. I don't want your prayer requests to get lost or forgotten.
I was reading a favorite blog of mine, Kelly's Korner, and she is doing something similar and I wrote her and told her I would love to take her idea and implement it here. She had a great idea.
The Prayer Page is called, Our Ever Present Help. Each week I will write a new post with a Bible verse for the week.
This will be an easy way to keep up with our prayer requests.
It is an honor to pray for you and go before God's throne on your behalf.
I will put the Prayer Page link in the sidebar for your convenience.
Have a wonderful weekend !!
Thursday, November 6, 2008
I would like to know who is going. Would you mind leaving your name here? We would be honored to pray for you all as we are praying for Beth and the event team.
Holly saw this link in the comments on the LPM blog. We thought we would include that link HERE in case you didn't see it. It is a blog created for those going to the taping in New Orleans.
Also, come back Thursday, we are having another cd giveaway.
Have a great weekend!!!
Wednesday, November 5, 2008
But the kids will love playing with it! By the way, an added benefit is a stress reducer for you, as you knead the color into the play dough. I think God created women with a need to knead.
So what have you enjoyed from the cookbook this week? Do you have any good recipes to make with kids? Share them in the comments.
Thanks for Giving!
Tuesday, November 4, 2008
My journey with Christ began almost before I can even remember. I had the privilege of growing up in a Christian home and was taught from a very early age the importance of being part of the Body of Christ by going to church. But I knew at age 7 that just because you love church and you love to be with God’s people, even talk like them and look like them, doesn’t make you necessarily Christ’s own. So at that tender age I walked to the front of a very small church and invited Him to not only be the love of my life, but the Lord of my life.
Our journey together has not always been a smooth one. One thing is for sure, He is steadfast and faithful. The other thing I know without a doubt is that my heart is prone to wander and boy did I feel it when I hit my early 20’s! After some isolated months from godly influences in my life, I decided it might be nice to go my own way. But I never forgot about Jesus and still loved Him dearly. I just wasn’t walking beside Him or even closely behind Him. I sort of ventured off in a direction that He most certainly could not go. After a very difficult season, I fell on my face on a warm sunlit beach in Destin and asked Him to forgive me and told Him that He was all I wanted and that I would spend the rest of my days following close after His heart. He assured me that there would more mistakes and more unwise choices, but that He would be always faithful to forgive and my heart would always be His home.
The one thing about my God is that He has most definitely been good to me. I have been blessed with 16 years of love and life with the man God chose for me. Not perfect years, mind you, but a love that is steady, secure and unfailing.
We’ve been blessed with two beautiful children, Taylor and Lindsey. We are entering the teenage years in just a month with my boy. I will need lots of prayer! Lindsey is a precocious 7 year old and she tells it like it is! We’re still praying that she will surrender to Jesus in His timing for her. She is one passionate little girl and I am praying that God will take all of that fire and fuel it into a unwavering love for Him and His Word.
I have been a Bible study facilitator for Women’s Ministry for more than 10 years. The first study I was asked to lead was “A Woman’s Heart, God’s Dwelling Place” by some “new Lifeway teacher” back in the late 90’s. I had no idea what was in store for me when I opened the pages of God’s Word to study about the Old Testament Tabernacle. I had never been given permission to sit at His feet that way and learn from Him. His Word came alive for me in that class and I have never been the same! I have to say that His Word is indeed life to me and without Him I am nothing!
Nowadays you can find me in Spring Hill, TN being a stay-at-home mom to my kids, traveling with my family, writing from time to time for Lifeway’s online ministry website, and writing on my blog. I’ve been blogging for about 2 years. The blessings have been tremendous, but I have to say the most spectacular thing God has done has been to reunite Patty and I after 25 years (we were friends when we were in high school) and bringing Holly into my life as a new friend! They are both dear to me and I know that if I really need a prayer covering all I have to do is speak the word and it is done!
I would love to have you visit me anytime at my blog at Your Word is Life to Me.
Monday, November 3, 2008
But God!! He took women from all over the world who are not perfect, but who are wildly chasing after the Living God and made us Sisters and then He made us Siestas. What a privilege it is to be counted among you! You have blessed me more times than you know with your comments and your confessions, your pleas and your prayers, your heart and your hope.
And that's what I'm hearing God whisper in my ear this morning. When I woke up this morning at 4:36 am with you on my mind, I heard Him saying, "Dori, today on November 3 in 2008, if you are going to write anything about Me -- tell them that I am their Help and their Hope.”
Over the past few weeks, even months, there has been a stirring. I have talked to more and more people who feel like the days, months and even years to come will be some of the most difficult that our nation has ever faced. Choices that are made tomorrow will have unbelievable affects on the future of our nation for the next four years, probably longer, possibly forever. There seems to be a real despair and hopelessness that is permeating people from every walk of life.
Jesus is the only hope for our nation. Yes, that is true. But when I woke up this morning, the Word He was telling me to share with you today is that He is YOUR Hope. On the red hot pavement of YOUR life, the life that is not covered by every cable news camera in the world, your God cares about what is concerning YOU today.
Sometimes it just takes lifting up our eyes to find our help, our hope. When worries and problems come many times our first reaction is to lose our focus and become downcast. Even our physical posture changes and we hang our head — sometimes in shame, sometimes in disbelief, sometimes in defeat, sometimes in sorrow.
“But You, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.” (Psalm 3:3 Amplified)
When I want my children to focus on me and really listen intently to what I need to say to them, I take their face in my hand and make them look at me. I can imagine God comes to us, His children, gently cups His sweet hands underneath our chin and says, “Child, look at Me. I need you to listen to Me. Look to Me for I am your very present Help in time of need.”
Does your head need lifting today? Look to Him. He is your glory — the only good thing in you. He is your Protector, your Shield, your Defender, your Waymaker, He is the lifter of your head, He is your Help and yes, He is your Hope.
“I lift up my eyes to the hills - where does my help come from? My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth. He will not let your foot slip - he who watches over you will not slumber; indeed, he who watches over Israel will neither slumber nor sleep. The LORD watches over you - the LORD is your shade at your right hand; the sun will not harm you by day, nor the moon by night. The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life; the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.”
Your Fellow Siesta,