Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Asthma Bell

Here it is. The "asthma bell".

A few weeks ago, our oldest son, Evan, was having a lot of trouble with wheezing, coughing, and some shortness of breath. His inhaler had run out and I was searching through the medicine cabinet for anything that might give him some relief.

I came across some Prednisone pills and set them on the kitchen counter with a note for him. I went on to bed, but then sat up, worried. My husband's sister has severe asthma and has almost died during asthma attacks. I knew my son's asthma was NOTHING like that, but it suddenly occurred to me that I had seen a bell in the kitchen cabinet. (No, I have no idea why a bell was in my kitchen cabinet) So, I went downstairs, found the bell, and set it on his bed.  I figured that if he really ran into some severe problems with asthma during the night - however unlikely that may be - then he could just ring the bell. I mean, what if he woke up, gasping for air and he couldn't even walk to our bedroom? I have a very dramatic mind. But I knew I would sleep better if there was a plan.

Later, when I heard him get home, I called out to him about what the bell on his bed was for.  He came into our room laughing so hard. "Mother! I almost died laughing when I saw that bell and heard you say what it was for." I think he was wheezing and laughing at the same time. My husband looked at me a bit incredulously that I would place a bell on my son's bed,  but I ask you...

Isn't that what we mothers are for?
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Crisp Weather Means Pumpkin Crisp

When September rolls around, I love to begin baking anything pumpkin-y. This recipe comes from the November 2005 issue of Southern Living. (Notice those lovely fall colored nails holding the magazine - aren't they groovy?)

 The dessert is called Pumpkin Crisp and I've been making it during this season for the past 7 years. It's easy to put together and so good with either whipped cream or ice cream.

Here are a few of the main ingredients.

The recipe is as follows:

1 15 oz. can pumpkin
1 cup evaporated milk
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 box butter-flavored yellow cake mix
1 cup chopped pecans
1 cup melted butter

Stir together first 5 ingredients. Pour into a lightly greased 13 x 9 pan. Sprinkle the dry cake mix evenly over the pumpkin mixture; sprinkle evenly with the chopped pecans. Drizzle melted butter evenly over pecans.

Bake at 350 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 5 minutes OR until golden brown. Remove from oven and let stand for 10 minutes before serving. Serve warm with whipped cream (sprinkled with nutmeg) or ice cream.

I add pecans to only half the pan since my kids aren't fond of nuts


Since I haven't posted a blog in a couple of weeks, I thought I'd add a few more photos for you to look at.

This beautiful bouquet was given to me by my son, Evan, who saw them at the Farmer's Market and knew I'd like them. Aren't they pretty? I don't know what the puffy, round flowers are called.

It's starting to feel cool and fall-like outside. I snapped a picture of some flowers on the deck.

Last, but not least, my favorite candle has always been Yankee Candle's Buttercream. I love having one burning in the kitchen on a cool fall or winter's day.

I hope you enjoy the dessert and these lovely days of fall. I was in Target yesterday and guess what? There was one aisle with Christmas cards displayed already! Yippee and Happy Fall, y'all!

Home Stories A2Z
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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Making a Cake Mix Special!

Not long after we were married, I had the most wonderful piece of chocolate cake with thick, white, frosting on top. Dave's mom has been making this frosting for many years and it quickly became my favorite. She told me it was called Seven Minute Frosting. I wanted to share the recipe with you.

Not the greatest photo quality with the old point and shoot camera

I had never tasted this frosting before. It is creamy with an almost marshmallow-y consistency. In fact, I thought at first that it must have a jar of marshmallow cream in the recipe (it doesn't). It is so good! The name comes from the fact that you must whip the frosting over a double boiler for seven minutes.

The recipe is as follows:

1 1/2 cups sugar
1/3 c cold water
2 egg whites
1/4 tsp. cream of tartar OR 2 tsp. light colored corn syrup
1 tsp vanilla

In the top of a double boiler, combine sugar, cold water, egg whites, and cream of tartar or the corn syrup. Beat with electric mixer for 30 seconds.

Now place over boiling water (upper pan should not touch water). Cook, beating constantly with the electric mixer on high speed about 7 minutes or til frosting forms stiff peaks. As you're standing there mixing, 7 minutes will seem to go on forever, but believe me, you'll be glad you did it!

 Remove from heat and add vanilla. Beat 2 - 3 minutes more or til it reaches spreading consistency. This frosts the top and sides of 2  8-or 9- inch cake layers or a 13 x 9 pan.

If you don't have a double boiler, you can improvise. You will need an oven proof bowl (like Pyrex) that will fit over a pan of boiling water. The bottom of the bowl should not touch the water. Keep it at a low boil and mix for 7 minutes.

It is a little more work than some frostings, but well worth the effort. There is usually a line in our kitchen of people wanting to lick the bowl and the beaters. When you've tasted that first bite of delectable frosting on moist, chocolate cake'll want a second piece right away! You'll also understand why that cake does not even last one full day at our house.

My mother-in-law makes the chocolate cake from scratch, but I use a Pillsbury Devil's Food Chocolate cake mix. I usually cook it less than what the back of the box says because I don't like a dry cake.

I hope you and your family enjoy it as much as we do! It's a simple way of dressing up a plain cake mix for your family.

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Saturday, September 1, 2012

Why I Love Trash Day

Source: Pinterest

Whenever Tuesday morning rolls around, I feel so happy. Why? Because it's trash pick up day and I love trash day! (It's the little things in life that make me happy.) In case this seems like the strangest topic, bear with me, because I am making a point:)

Trash day means a brand new, fresh start. It means out with the old and in with the new. The house feels like it can breathe again after I cram everything I can into those two garbage cans. Am I the only one that feels so delighted to do that? When I "feel" cluttered, I have a harder time functioning.

 It may be clutter around the house that is bugging me, or sometimes even "emotional" clutter in my mind.  Sometimes things need to be thrown not only out of our house but out of our minds as well. I often try to carry too much responsibility, when God wants me to give it to Him. Jesus said that His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He wants to carry our "stuff".

A couple of years ago, we hosted our son's high school graduation party. I placed a sign on my trash cans. One that read "trash" and one that read "cans" so that people could easily dispose of their things. Well, guess what? Someone (me) forgot to take the "trash" sign off of the trashcan. You guessed it.  I had to go buy a whole new trash can that week since they took my sign seriously.

I guess I need to think of my mind clutter like that. I need wisdom of what to give to God and what to toss in the trash can.

As a side note, I don't feel the same way about the Christmas tree disposal guy. The kids and I used to sadly stand by the dining room window and watch as our poor post- Christmas tree was dumped in the back of his truck with all the other poor trees. What a depressing job. We felt like somone should be playing Taps as we watched him. But that is for another post.

As we now are fast approaching the holiday season, my heart bursts with thankfulness about all the little things that makes my day to day life of taking care of my family easier. How could any of us make or keep our homes lovely without this service? Who doesn't like a brand new start once a week?

This was not sponsored in any way by the sanitation department, and no one I know works there, but I love those guys! Thank you!

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