Wednesday, December 4, 2013

My adult family portrait.

Back in August, I shared 'My Personal Testimony of Jesus Christ' and one of the things I wrote was:
"I can say without a shadow of a doubt, that the power of Jesus Christ has moved in my life in ways I never could have imagined."

I wrote that statement in the past tense but the reality is, God continues to move in ways I can't possibly imagine. It is humbling to try and explain the mysterious ways that I see God work at times. What I experienced this Thanksgiving holiday is no exception.  It was "more than all I could ask or imagine".  Why?  Because, as long as I can remember or know of, I've never spent a Thanksgiving holiday with both my mom and my dad - until this year.

Not unlike a lot of people, I don't have a memory bank full of memories with both my parents. No memories of Christmas', birthdays, special events, etc.  The handful of memories that I do have, fall in an entirely different category. However, this Thanksgiving holiday, both my parents traveled from their respective states to spend Thanksgiving in Arizona. I found myself making coffee for both my parents. I could hear both my parents talking at the table.  I would look up from what I was doing and see both my parents sitting in the room.  It was surreal.  Totally surreal.

One morning, as the 3 of us sat at the kitchen table, I shared a scripture that came to my mind that morning as I marveled at how God brought this special event together. Joel 2:25:
"I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten"
They understood the verse and agreed. I shared my heart and told them why this time was so special for me. We each shared our hearts through tear filled eyes and together we shared God's sweet goodness. Then we prayed together.  Tears fill my eyes, even now, as I think about it.  Such a priceless gift of which I could never have even imagined.  

It gets better. ;)  All of my life, I've been missing something.  Something simple.  Just a picture - with me, my mom and my dad.   It's a picture I've never had. A picture that's been missing all my life. While my parents were here, my friend Lindsi Rian captured the picture I've been waiting 41 years to take. 

At this point, I'm just at a loss for words.  This is where my emotions get the best of me and I'm just overwhelmed by God's enormity and His tender love for me.  He knows me.  He knows my heart.  He knows about the constant longing for family that fills my heart.  And this Thanksgiving, He gave me the most Amazing Gift that Grace could give.. My family. 
"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen." Ephesians 3:20

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Pumpkin Chiffon Recipe Revisited

In November 2010, I wrote about the Pumpkin Chiffon recipe that has an adverse effect in my life at the end of every year.  This is a revisit to the original post with updated pictures:

The last 2 months of the year, I am making this recipe at least once a week at the request of my husband who finds a way to work it into every conversation we have.  Here's some real-life examples that I kept track of this month:

Greg: I have a surprise for you
Julia: What is it?
Greg: Now if I give this to you now, you have to make a pumpkin chiffon for me today, ok?
another example:
Me: I want something to snack on.
Greg: Like Pumpkin Chiffon?  Hmm?
last example:
Greg: I've had a headache since this morning.
Julia: Did you take any Excederin?
Greg: No, but I think Pumpkin Chiffon would help it go away.

Finally, my husband has escalated his game to leaving cryptic messages around the house:

That being said, I am sharing the recipe so that someone else can share in my misery and his joy!

Pumpkin Chiffon 

1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup butter, melted
1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, beaten
3/4 cup sugar
2 (3 3/4 oz.) package vanilla instant pudding mix
3/4 cup milk
2 cups cooked, mashed pumpkin (Not Pumpkin Pie Mix)
dash of ground cinnamon
2 (8 oz) cartons Cool Whip, thawed
1/2 cup chopped pecans

1. Combine first 3 ingredients; press into a 12 x 9 x 2 inch baking dish.  Set aside.

2. Combine cream cheese, eggs, and 3/4 cup sugar; beat until fluffy.  Spread over crust.  Bake at 350 for 20 mins; set aside to cool - critical, crust must cool off before proceeding!

3. Combine pudding mix and milk; beat 2 minutes at medium speed.  Add pumpkin, cinnamon and one carton of Cool Whip; mix well. 

Note the difference between these 2 cans.  Can on the left is Pumpkin Pie Mix, do not use this.  Use the can on the right, 100% Pure Pumpkin. 

4. Spread pudding mixture over cooled crust & cream cheese layer. Spread last carton of whipped topping over pumpkin/pudding layer.  Sprinkle top with pecans.  Refrigerate at least 3 hours before serving.


Recipe published in 1982 by Jacqueline Dorn of Leesville, South Carolina. Thank you, Jacqueline, the end of year just wouldn't be the same without the heckling of my husband to make your recipe.  Perhaps you could send me your number and my husband could call you to make Pumpin Chiffon every week. I hate you sometimes. So anyway....Yuletide and Happy Hullidays Ya'll!

Monday, October 28, 2013

Halloween Candy Sign

This Halloween, there is a brief period of time that we won't be home for the trick-or-treaters. Boo.  I don't want to be 'that' neighbor with the dark house and no candy so I scoured the internet for a Halloween sign for the unattended candy I plan to leave out.  I couldn't find exactly what I was looking for, so I had to make my own sign out of bits & pieces from here and there.  

If you are in need of a sign for an unattended candy basket, feel free to right-click, save as and print for yourself!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

This Guy.

I've been asked many times by different people, "Is there anything he can't do?" speaking of Greg.
My answer is always, "No." As in, there is nothing This Guy can't do. Let me me tell you about him.

This Guy can fix anything.
When our washing machine would only spin periodically...This Guy fixed it.

When our sprinkler system needed a repair...This Guy handled it.

 When the 'coil' needed to be repaired on the lawnmower...This Guy took care of it.

When the 'regulator' needed to be replaced on the grill...This Guy replaced it.

When our pool pump cracked and started leaking...This Guy replaced the damaged part of the pool pump.
Furthermore, when the skimmer door on the pool kept getting stuck...This Guy fixed that too.

This Guy is mechanical.
When we have a need for a mechanical repair...This Guy takes care of it.

This Guy can build things.
When he needed a custom stereo set-up in his car...This Guy created it.

When we needed to close in a room in our house...This Guy built a wall.

When I showed Greg a picture of a little bench I liked...This Guy built me the bench.

When we decided to do our backyard in our last house...This Guy did it all from installing flowerbeds to sprinkler systems.

This Guy can make home improvements. 
In our last house, when we decided we needed tile...This Guy installed tile.

In that same house, when I needed cabinets in the laundry room...This Guy installed cabinets.

When we decided to section out a room with wood flooring...This Guy did it.

Install a ceiling fan...This Guy could do it in his sleep!

This Guy is ridiculously athletic.
It doesn't matter what the sport is, This Guy can play it well.  One time, while watching Greg at bat, a fellow team-mate told another, "Man, he's got a sexy swing." Another man said that! And it's true. haha!

This Guy can play some music.
Drums, keys, guitar, trumpet, spoons, fiddlesticks, whatever!

This Guy is a computer geek.
From building or fixing a computer to messing around with servers...This Guy does it all.

This Guy is truly extraordinary in all these ways and so many more and that's why This Guy is my hero.