Resolutions for 2010?

Thursday, December 31, 2009

 
It is getting dark on this last night of 2009, and something about a new year really gets me to thinking! Right now here in middle Georgia it is cold and foggy with a rainy drizzle outside.  My sweet man and I are "staying in."  That is NOT big news...we like a quiet New Year's Eve.  [We have been to many a New Year's Eve party with food and fellowship and fun back in the day, but for the past few years, we have chosen to stay home.]  I do have some sparkling cider to toast in the New Year, and I made a big pot of chili too.  So we will celebrate quietly, and I really like that because I like my "thinking/pondering/reflecting/praying time."

But as I was thinking, I decided I sure would like to hear from YOU!
  • Do you have New Years' Resolutions?
  • Can you share them?
  • Do you always have resolutions or are you just beginning to do so?
  • What are you doing or what did you do for New Year's Eve?
May God bless you and keep you and use you mightily for His glory in 2010!

Recipe - Buffalo Chicken Dip

Monday, December 28, 2009

If you need a good recipe for a New Year's Eve party (or any celebrating purposes) please consider making this Buffalo Chicken Dip. My whole family LOVES this dip!  My sister Joan gave me the recipe. I made it for a Christmas party a week ago and it was a hit. (Be sure to make it in a pretty deep dish pie plate.  I've got several that I love. I saw a cute red one at Kohl's the other night that had a scalloped edge, but I resisted the urge to add anything else to my kitchen.)

This dip is just the right amount of "heat" and oh so good!  If you want to see a video clip of the recipe being made, go here!


Ingredients:
  • 1 pkg. (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup bleu cheese salad dressing (or Ranch if you prefer)
  • 1/2 cup crumbled bleu cheese (or shredded cheddar if you use Ranch)
  • 2 cans (9.75 ounces each) Swanson® Premium Chunk Chicken Breast in water (drained)
  • 1/2 cup any flavor FRANK'S® RedHot® sauce
  • Assorted fresh vegetables or crackers
Directions:

1.  Heat the oven to 350° F.
2.  Whisk the softened cream cheese in a 9-inch deep dish pie plate until smooth.
3.  Stir in the Bleu Cheese dressing, Hot sauce, and crumbled blue cheese.
4.  Mix well.
5.  Stir in the drained chicken and mix well again.
6.  Bake for 20 minutes or until the chicken mixture is hot and bubbling.
7.  Remove from oven and stir before serving.

Serve with vegetables and crackers for dipping.  It won't last long!

Prep: 5 minutes
Bake: 20 minutes
Makes: About 4 cups

Gran Jan's (and G-Daddy's) Christmas SURPRISES!

Friday, December 25, 2009

We celebrate Christmas with my parents on Christmas Eve. It is a long-standing tradition and my Mom passes out the gifts because she is really the heart of Christmas in our family.  As she handed a gift to me and a gift to my husband, she said "I don't know who these are from or where they came from."  The card said, "Open Together."  So we each opened our gifts and lo and behold...this is what we saw! (I opened the PINK one.)

YES! Our May grandbabies have been revealed! 
It's a GIRL!  It's a BOY!
The stockings match the mommies below! 

They have been telling us that it would be next month before we could find out and they have kept the secret well - and I am so proud of them. (Go here to read the original post.) My boys obviously did not inherit the "cannot-keep-a-secret-well-gene" from their mother!  Now if it is confidential, sad and serious, my lips are sealed! But if it's happy news, well, let's just say I fit the old song, "If You're Happy and You Know It, Then Your Face Will Surely Show it..."  because everyone can tell I know something. Read my smile! So be sure I have a BIG OLD SMILE on my face this Christmas morning.

Oh and one more thing...Gran Jan is 3 for 3 in "G.G.G." (Guessing Grandbabies' Gender). Yes I am...right before we were handed those gifts, I leaned over to Erin and said, "I think you're having a boy!"  She just smiled...  The sonogram pictures are in the stockings too - I have some sweet and thoughtful daughters-in-law.  I love them for all they are to my sons - their love for my boys means EVERYTHING to me.

MERRY CHRISTMAS FROM GRAN JAN!  I will post some Christmas photos from the farm later, but right now I just want to let this one sit...and I'm going to go sit by the tree and count my many blessings, name them three by three, Zeke...Baby Girl...Baby Boy!

Emmanuel, God With Us - Oh YES - HE IS!

SAM's Weekend = "Sisters and Mother," not the Club!

Thursday, December 17, 2009

SAM's = Sisters & Mother

I don't think I have ADHD until times like this... You see, I was just busy finishing up wrapping Christmas presents, and I found the picture frame I had bought for my Mom that says "Me & My Girls."  Of course I realized that I needed a picture to put inside the frame before I wrapped the gift! I mean the girls that are in the picture that came with the frame are cute and all, but you know it just won't mean the same to my Mom unless it is "her and her girls," like the frame says. (By the way, that really is a pet peeve of mine - people that buy frames and put them around and don't ever put pictures in them - but leave the "studio models" in the frames.)  But back to the reason for this blog post... there goes that ADHD again.

So I came to the computer to print the picture for the frame, and that led me to checking my blog, finding the picture, etc. etc. So here I am with a long overdue blog post and lots of memories.  Please read on...

There have been three "SAM's Weekends."  On the "3rd weekend in October" my Mom and my two sisters and me have gotten together at my middle sister's lake house for a SAM's weekend. SAM's is our acronym for "Sisters and Mother."  We eat, play games, watch movies, and laugh our heads off - always at the expense of each other - as only families can do.  This is a picture of Joan's boat house and dock.  It is such a peaceful place.

The first year was great - we had a campfire and watched a hilarious movie and went for a long walk around the lake, fed the ducks...

Last year was not good due to really scary tornadoes and we drove through a storm to get to the lake house and then we were delayed for over five hours due to downed power lines and trees - only to arrive at my sister's place to sit in the dark because her power was also out! We were exhausted, we couldn't watch our movies or play games in the dark, so we all just went to bed and it was cold and well...miserable.

This past year was the best yet! It was way too cold and windy for a fire outside, so we sat together and we talked and talked and laughed and had so much fun. (I won Scrabble and Crazy Eights, just thought I would mention that.) We hope this tradition will continue on for as long as possible. It's a blessing to be together.

That's my sister Joan in the black, then my Mom, Lois; my baby sister Jo, and then me! One more thing about the SAM's weekend...there is a sister who is missing, her name was Jean. You see, she died back on July 19, 1985, in a tragic car accident. We miss her every single day. At our parents' 50th Wedding Anniversary we honored her memory - you can see it in the picture below:

I am the oldest of four girls, Jan, Jean, Joan, and Jo. We are actually all four "PJ's:" Pamela Jan, Phyllis Jean, Patricia Joan and Peggy Jo.  At my parents' fiftieth anniversary party, us girls had our picture taken and my niece Amy, Jean's daughter, stood "in Jean's place next to me."  Do you see the tears brimming in my eyes in the picture below?  It was literally all I could do to stand there... Amy was only 23 months old when Jean died - and now that she is a young woman, she treasures stories of her mother.

Jean is missed every single time our family gets together, but especially on these SAM's weekends. We know she is in the presence of the Lord because the Word of God assures us that "to be absent from the body is to be present with the Father."

As Christmas Eve draws near, I am reminded that every memory I have at this time of year includes my sister Jean.  She was "next in line" to me, so we grew up together. I learned a lot when Jean died - about what is really important and how brief life is.  She was only 25 years young, and I was a 27 year old young mother myself - with two little boys myself when we buried her.

I know without a doubt that her death shaped my life. I am not a worrier, I treasure every single day God grants, and I delight in the Lord.  I rest in the assurance that I will see her again one day because Jesus is the Way, the Truth, and the Life.  Talk about a SAM's weekend!!! Can you imagine?  It will change to "Savior and Mansions," and it will last way longer than one weekend, hallelujah! How about an eternity?  What do you think about that?

Now I've got to go...I've got some presents to wrap, and some memories to unwrap...

Much love,

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