Saturday Update


Here it is Saturday – it’s been a very stressful, hectic week but I’m here to PRAISE THE LORD, our son is steadily improving. He will have a very long road ahead, but the Lord is SO good – we are able to see small improvements daily. We (husband, youngest son & I) went to the hospital today to visit him; the town this hospital is located in is a COLLEGE town. During the week the streets are teaming with tons of pedestrians, bicycles, cars, etc. and if you’re not exactly sure where you’re going you can end up facing lots of One Way streets, to boot! We were VERY pleasantly surprised to find the the weekends are virtually EMPTY of people/cars/bicycles including the hospital! I was amazed! One person we met while doing the long walk to the parking structure said she thought it was because there are so many ‘out patients’ during the week – I don’t know why, but that place is PACKED with people – outside the hospital, in the town, etc. SO GLAD to have a nice, pleasant drive through town and walk inside the hospital. The great news is our son was moved from Critical Care to General Care yesterday – that’s a HUGE step forward! He’s going to be in there for quite a while, but we’re taking it a day-at-a-time. Husband asked to take the day off driving yesterday (it’s an hour drive one-way & add all the stress of going through town/dealing with all the people/walking, etc.) I didn’t blame him. After today he said he’s thinking of us going every-other day to visit; we’ll see. Husband and oldest son went Thursday while I watched our grandson. Poor little guy – he ended up with stomach flu (which his Mom had but we didn’t know about), so he stayed home Friday from school. I was very glad that, although I took care of him, I didn’t directly TOUCH his sweaty face or kiss him on the face – I’ve had my flu shot but certainly don’t want to carry that to son in hospital!

Yesterday, with our ‘off driving’ day I got the small fiber optic Christmas tree down and put it up in the dining room and added a few little decorations (nothing like usual, but it’s OK). When I told my grandson (in the car on the way home from his school bus stop) that I would probably only be putting up the small tree, he said: “But how will Santa know where to put the presents?” (little tree is on a small table – our other tree is usually on top of our baby grand piano). He’s 8 1/2 and very smart – I tend to forget that he’s still a little kid in his heart!

I’m thinking Monday or Tuesday I’ll bake the three loaves of bread for our neighbors (I do this every year). I told my husband that this year I’m not doing the big batches of cookies I usually bake – I’m probably going to Meijers (a large grocery/merchandise store in Michigan) and buy their bakery cookies already made up – this is NOT the year to dive into lots of baking. I ‘did’ get the stockings down and hung them on the fireplace (didn’t want the question from Grandson about why they weren’t up!). When I think back on how things have worked out, I’m very glad I spent time a month ago knitting up all those coffee mug warmers – this coming Wednesday is my special needs group’s Christmas party and those gifts are for all the helpers. Wednesday of this week I wasn’t sure if I had the gumption to go to my group’s weekly meeting, but finally went anyway. I’m glad I did – you can’t be ‘down’ around them, they always are so chipper!  It’s been a rough week, but the Lord (and lots of prayers) have carried us through so far.


Chocolate Peanut Clusters

2 (16 oz) cans cocktail peanuts
2 (6 oz) bars white baking chocolate,
4 oz. bar sweet German Baking
chocolate, chopped
2 C. dark chocolate chips
1 C. white chocolate chips

Spray inside of crockpot with nonstick
spray. Place all ingredients inside; mix.
Cover & cook on Low 3 hours. Turn off
crockpot; let stand 20 minutes. Stir
mixture until chocolate is smooth. Drop
by spoonfuls onto waxed paper. Melt
white chocolate chips in microwave;
drizzle over clusters. Let clusters
cool. Store in airtight container.
Makes 24 clusters


White Chocolate Cranberry Cookies

1 C. unsalted butter
1 C. brown sugar
1 C. granulated sugar
2 eggs
2 T. vanilla
3 C. flour
1 T. baking soda
1/2 tsp. salt
2 C. dried cranberries
1 1/2 C. white chocolate chips
1 C. chopped walnuts or pecans

Preheat oven 325 Degrees F.
Lightly grease or line baking sheets with
parchment paper. In large bowl cream
butter & sugars until smooth. Add eggs &
vanilla; blend well. Slowly add flour, baking
soda & salt to creamed mixture, mixing to
combine. Stir in cranberries, chocolate chips &
nuts (if desired). Drop balls of dough onto
prepared baking sheets, about 2 inches apart.
Bake cookies until golden brown around edges
& set on top, about 12 minutes for small
cookies. Remove to rack to cool. Makes about
3 dozen.

(recipe: Marys Recipe Exchange)


Cheesy Spinach/Bacon Dip

1 (10 oz) pkg. frozen chopped spinach,
1 (16 oz) pkg. Velveeta, cut into 1/2″
4 oz. cream cheese, cubed
1 (10 oz) can Ro*Tel diced tomatoes &
green chiles, undrained
8 slices cooked bacon, crumbled

Microwave  all ingredients in a micro-
waveable bowl on High 5 minutes or
until Velveeta is completely melted &
mixture is well blended, stirring after
3 minutes. Makes 32 servings/ 2 T. each

Serve with tortilla chips or cut up fresh

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Simple Tortilla Pizzas
(comment from poster:

Do not need a recipe for these pizzas, but

here are the ingredients:

Flour tortillas (or pita bread)
cheeses: shredded mozzarella,
shredded Cheddar, goat, feta, etc
pizza sauce
tomato slices
sliced onions
olive oil
chopped parsley
any meats you might like

Preheat oven 425 degrees F.
Spread pizza sauce evenly across
tortilla, leaving 1/2 inch space
around edges; sprinkle with
cheeses & toppings. Bake
12-14 minutes until cheese is
golden & bubbling & edges of
tortilla are lightly browned. Slice &


Crockpot Chicken Curry

10 chicken thighs, (2 3/4 lb) skins
1 (16 oz) jar thick & chunky salsa
1 onion, chopped
2 T. curry powder
1 C. sour cream

Place chicken in crockpot. Combine
next 3 ingredients; pour over chicken.
Cover with lid, cook on Low 8-10 hours
or High 5 hours. Transfer chicken to platter,
reserving sauce in crockpot. Add sour cream
to sauce; mix well. Serve spooned over chicken.
Serves 10
(good served over cooked rice)

(recipe: Kraft foods)

Vanilla Buttercream Frosting

(from Sprinkles Cupcakes)

1 C. butter, softened
3 1/2 C. confectioners sugar
1 tsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1/8 tsp. salt

In large bowl, combine butter, sugar & salt;
beat until well blended. Add milk & vanilla;
beat an additional 3-5 minutes or until smooth
& creamy. Makes enough to frost 12 cupcakes.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)

Cinnamon/Spiced Apple Bread

2 C. flour
2 C. apples (small-medium dice) –
Granny Smiths, approx 2 apples
3 eggs, room temp.
3/4 C. vegetable oil
3/4 C. granulated sugar
1/2 C. packed brown sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. vanilla

1/4 C. packed brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. nutmeg
Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Butter a 9″ X 5″ loaf pan. Mix
flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking
powder/baking soda & salt in
a large bowl. In small bowl mix
eggs, oil, sugars & vanilla; mix well.
Add egg mixture to dry ingredients &
incorporate well. Don’t overmix. Fold
in apples so they’re completly covered
& mixed in; pour batter into prepared
pan. Bake 45-55 minutes until golden
brown and a toothpick inserted into
the center comes out clean. Remove
to cooling rack; let cool. Run a knife
around the edge of the pan to loosen
the loaf; transfer to serving plate.
Makes 1 loaf.


Friendship Casserole
(also known as Tater Tot Casserole)

1 lb. ground chuck
1/2 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 (8 oz) can crescent rolls
1 (10.5 oz) can cream of celery or mushroom
1 (16 oz) pkg. frozen tater tots
1/2 C. shredded Cheddar cheese
1/2 C. Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
salt & pepper, to taste

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Spray baking dish with nonstick spray.Arrange
crescent rolls to completely cover bottom of
pan, pressing seams to seal. Brown onion & garlic
until just tender; add in ground beef, season with
salt & pepper. Cook until beef is no longer pink;
drain grease. Stir in soup; mix well. Spread mixture
into 9 X 13 dish. Top with tater tots & bake, uncovered,
30-40 minutes until bubbly & tots are golden brown.
Remove from oven & top with cheese. Return to oven
& bake until cheese has melted.

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Calico Ham & Bean Soup

1/2 C. dry navy or Great Northern beans
1/2 C. dry black or kidney beans
1/2 C. dry lima beans
1/2 C. dry garbonzo beans
1/2 C. dry split peas
6 C. water

2 C. fully cooked ham, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1 C. chopped onion
1 C. chopped carrot
1 tsp. dried basil, crushed
1 tsp. dried oregano, crushed
3/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
2 bay leaves
6 C. water
salt & pepper, to taste

Rinse beans; drain. In large saucepan, combine
beans, peas & 6 C. water; bring to boil, reduce
heat and simmer, uncovered, 10 minutes. Drain
& rinse beans. In 3 1/2-4/5 Qt. crockpot combine
ham, onion, carrot, basil, oregano, 3/4 tsp. salt,
1/4 tsp. pepper & bay leaves. Stir in drained beans &
remaining 6 C. fresh water. Cover & cook on Low
8-10 hours or High 4-5 hours. Discard bay leaves;
season to taste with additional salt & pepper.
Serves 8

(recipe: Rhonda G-Marys Recipe Exchange)
Pecan Pie Bars

1 can crescent rolls
1/2 C. chopped pecans
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. corn syrup
2 T. butter or marg, melted
1 tsp. vanilla
1 egg, beaten

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Unroll dough, press in bottom &
1/2 inch up sides of a 9 X 13″
pan; firmly pressing perforations
to seal. Bake 8 minutes.
In medium bowl, mix remaining
ingredients; pour over partially
baked crust. Bake 18-22 minutes
more or until golden brown.
Cool 1 hour; cut into bars.

(recipe: Facebook)

Amazing Puff Balls

1 (8 oz) pkg. sliced pepperoni
1 (8 oz) pkg. cream cheese,
2 (10 1/8 oz, ea) pkgs.
refrigerated crescent dinner rolls

Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
Remove rolls & separate into
individual triangles. Flatten each
triangle & slice so that it becomes
3 small triangles. Dice or chop
pepperoni into tiny pieces & mix
into cream cheese so that all
pieces of pepperoni are incorporated
into cream cheese. Spoon a small
amount of mixture in middle of each
triangle & pinch up all sides around
filling. Place on baking sheet & repeat
with rest of ingredients. Bake at
amount of time stated on crescent
rolls (usually 11 minutes). Let cool
before serving. Makes 48

Thank you for your prayers and concern; like
I’ve mentioned before, this will be a long
healing but we are trusting in the Lord and
HIS leading/healing/guiding for our family.



PS: We’re also thanking the Lord for the good
driving weather we’ve been experiencing this
past week – it’s been in the 30’s and chilly/cold
but not ice or snow to battle on the roads/


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One CommentLeave a comment

  1. I’m glad to hear of the progress Ben is making and also that you are holding up well.

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