Robert Frost

The best way out is always through.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The tender thread

Hello blogging friends.  I hold your condolences and prayers very dearly.  I do have to say that everything has shifted, for my mom most especially. I am so thankful that she has a relationship with the Lord and holds tight to Him in her grieving.  Pete had many health issues over the last 10 years and especially this last year saw many more physical lows than highs, but still his going seemed sudden.  My sister and I (my mom's only kids), have been taking turns staying with her and sifting through necessary paperwork to take care of and of course, packing some of Pete's items.  And when you do that part, memories and truths come out along with the tears. 
 Papo Pete, Sophia, Mimi Louisa
Step family can be a very tender thread and only those in it can truly speak to its dynamic.  My sister and I love our dad but we saw him 2-3 times a year after our parents divorced and so Pete was a father to us in all our everyday needs.  Now, I am a step mom and blessedly our girls are with us half the time (half a week with us and half with their mom) and have a very active mom in their lives.   My relationship with them is as a mom but never in place of their mom, and yes, at times this can be tricky, but love is the constant covering. 

Now, I also know that just the word "family" itself, can come loaded with baggage (good and bad), but recently some of my heartache comes from the facet of being a step-daughter.  Well meaning and also grieving extended family have come up to my sister and I without personal condolences but adjuring us to take care of our mom and understand how much she has lost.  I know so more clearly now that I will never take for granted the losses of others no matter the "title" of their relation to the one lost.  Now, I hope to not be misunderstood in belittling my mom's mourning but as I focus on stepfamilyhood, I more clearly see that no one but us and the Lord knows what was truly woven together to make our family. 
Thanksgiving 2007
Family to me encompasses the earthly relations and those the Lord brings into our lives that complete our spiritual family.  Those kindred spirits and hearts that drop everything to cheer us on, let us cry on their shoulder, and pray for our large and small concerns and for whom we do the same.  The dear "family" that we can call in the middle of the night to air our "worries" or share in our secret joys.  Family means so much. 

And I pray to appreciate even more these hearts dear to me that help me to know more of Jesus and what it means to love as He has encouraged me to do.  I am glad that He brought to mind this scripture that I tripped upon a while back and became overwhelmed by its truth in my life:  

 "I led them with cords of human kindness, with ties of love;"  Hosea 11:4a

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Some things are hard to say

I have pondered this a bit.  I have been blessed with my blog.  I am a stay at home mom way out in the Texas countryside and blogging has been a wonderful outlet for me.  No, I am not the most dilligent of writers/posters/bloggers but I enjoy the little community of friends that I have come by through visits and comments on others' blogs.  So right now when I have been away for a few days and deciding on this post, I knew that much like my own private journaling, I wanted to keep to sharing true parts of my everyday life.  I know I have delighted in posting about our travel adventures in order to share and document trip details and moments for me and anyone else interested, but I had hoped to blog more about our everyday.  And sometimes those everyday's can be hard.

I had a kind and loving step-father, Pete, (for the last 25 years) that passed away this past Thursday night (April 8th).  Today I have stopped by to clean up the home a bit and pack up stuff in order to stay with my mom for a while, but in my habit and as a pick me up I checked my blog and e-mail.  It is very dear to me to see kind catch-up notes from bloggers I have gotten to know and somehow a refreshment to see bright, cheerful, lively goings on of fellow bloggers.  I am very thankful for the respite of this virtual fellowship.  And I knew I just wanted to let those of you ladies, who have been such kind encouragers to me, know why I have paused a bit. 

I certainly would appreciate your prayers for us all and most especially my wonderful mom, Louisa, who is strong in the Lord but aching at every turn.  Thank you and know that "For in Him we live and move and have our being" (Acts 17:28)

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Giveaway....well kinda, sorta

We had a sweet Easter weekend with work, lots of cooking, 

Chick-y cakepops ala Bakerella
worship filled Sunday service, family, goats, a yummy lunch, egg hunt,
cascarones (Mexican Easter tradition of cracking confetti filled painted egg shells on your favorite people), wild bunnies, and even a rattle snake hunt (yep, we live in the country and yes it was "taken care of").  It ended with kids stuffing themselves on Easter treats and us all talking, laughing and soaking up our lovely spring weather (lovely Texas weather is a fleeting thing).  I really wanted to grab a pic of the gang chasing and cracking cascarones on one another, but I was a target and trying to help my three year old be a part of the fun.  But I caught them a moment before the fun:
Sara with her favorite cat ABC

Our lovely little ladies...ahem, what are you doing Sophia?
See baby goats:

Now for the "giveaway":  well it is no secret in these parts that I enjoy cooking and baking (I carry more evidence of that fact on my person than I care to, but oh well).  I guess with all our visitors 'round here this weekend I pulled out new and favorite recipes and went to town: 

Resurrection Buns
Cake Pops ala Bakerella
Giada DeLaurentiis' most awesome asparagus salad with mozzarella, melon and prosciutto
homemade ranch dressing ala Pioneer Woman
Quick Yeast rolls ala Southern living
Crash Hot potatoes ala Pioneer Woman
Apricot Peach tea

there was one dish I knew would cause a round of "yumms" , "mmmms" , and "oohs, ahhs".  And as much as I wished I could say that I "thought it up", or "tweaked it my way".  Nope.  I stick to this simple perfect recipe, and even when I have fudged a bit, it has ALWAYS turned out wonderful, healthful, and DELICIOUS!  So I will give away this treasured recipe.....

The Best Roast Chicken Ever:
I could credit the cast iron skilled for the succulent outcome but truly it is Jan's nice balance of oil, lemon, garlic and rosemary that makes the perfect juice.  And we carve it in the skillet, letting the pieces swim in the pan drippings a little to get the full umpf of the dish.  Now I can't make you do this tonight but it is highly recommended.  Enjoy!


Friday, April 2, 2010

Good Friday, He keeps His promises

We made some Resurrection Buns (click to see recipe) today. They are easy and oh so delicious.  You wrap the dough around a big marshmallow and then coat it with butter, sugar and cinnamon.  Once baked the inside is hollow like the tomb of the Risen Christ.  I take no credit for the recipe.  I am happy to glean good things from other bloggers and I got it the recipe from a post on Holy Experience
If you have not visited her site before she writes wonderfully about her loves: The Lord, her family, and their life on the farm. 

Of course, being the Easter season I have been pondering more about how "God so loved the world" and the empty tomb. 

One of my favorite verses comes to mind:

"Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author, and perfecter of our faith,
who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame,
and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
Consider Him
who endured such opposition from sinful man,
so that you will not grow weary and lose heart."
Hebrews 12: 2, 3

And in getting to the heart of the matter as to the wonder of Good Friday, I also give credit to Parisienne Farmgirl and the meaningfilled video on the fulfillment of Good Friday that I post here: 



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