Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Hey Lisa . . .Lisa . . .are you listening? Hey Lisa!! LISA!!!!

This is a "wordy post" - not lots of pictures -- just a warning!!

I pray almost every morning.  I'm talking . . ."sit perfectly still and read some scripture and write in a prayer journal" kind of praying.  I try to do it all the time but I'm not perfect.  Of course, I send up prayers throughout the rest of the day . . .I pray at work quite often (helps that I work in a church!!) and Mark and I pray together before we go to bed at night.  So often our prayers are lists . . .lists of names . . .lists of wants and needs . . .God, are you listening?  Can you hear me?  God, why aren't you working on this?  Are you?  Do you care?  Why haven't you healed our friend, Jason?  Why does Nancy have cancer?  Why does Laura not have a classroom teaching position yet?  Why are our friends having problems in their marriage?  Can you fix it?

Maybe your prayers don't sound like this.  I'm just being perfectly honest with you.  Some days my prayers sound like that.  Some days my prayers are from some place deep inside of me . . . someplace raw . . .someplace the outside world rarely sees.

Some days my prayers are all about being thankful.  Some days my prayers are more like this:  God, I thank you that the situation at work was resolved.  I thank you that the sun is shining outside my window.  I thank you for the birds at the birdfeeder.  You made them and their funny feathers and they are amazing.  Thank you for this crazy cat that keeps jumping up on top of my prayer journal (and I have traced his paw on my journal so that I will remember he was there!).  Thank you that this cat has brought such joy to our family.  Thank you that we are all gainfully employed.  Thank you for clean drinking water.  Thank you for a roof over our head. Thank you for a stove for cooking and a refrigerator that is overflowing with healthy (and not so healthy) food.  Thank you for friends who love me.  Thank you for your grace that covers me.

But once again . . .I'm doing all the talking.  I know I talk a lot.  If you know me, YOU know I talk a lot.  BUT I can be a good listener.  I really can.  That skill does come in handy when you are in charge of the prayer ministry.

So I've been struggling with some things . . . quite a few things actually.  I've been praying about these things a lot.  I told God that I feel like the persistent widow (except I'm not a widow! - thank God!!)

I went to visit my friend in Nashville a few weeks ago and she works in a great store -- Hot Pink in Brentwood, TN (I will show you a picture because they have amazing gift items in this store!! - they have everything from linens to baby gifts to seasonal items - it is like "gift giving" paradise . . ..sorry for the shallow aside . . .I know I've been talking about prayer - but I'm a girl and love - what can I say?)  I know you are wondering where I'm going with this - hang on . . .

The day away in Nashville helped me in many ways. 
1) I spent a lot of time alone in the car - driving to and from Nashville . . .praying and listening to Christian music for the majority of the time.
2) I spent several hours with Jan who makes me laugh like no other friend does.  I laughed until my face hurt.  She can also make me examine my life in a way no one else does.  We also had a pedicure which helps cure almost anything that ails you (boy is that a Southern expression!!!). 
3)  When we ended the day at Hot Pink with some shopping, she bought a book for me, "Jesus Calling" because I said that a lot of people had been reading it . . .and she said it was wonderful . . .and I had already paid for my items . . .and she bought it for me.  She didn't buy just a plain old copy.  When I got home, this gorgeous leather copy was in my gift bag.

I didn't have the time . . .or the inclination . . .or whatever to start using the book right away and it sat in the car for a few days.  I finally brought it inside and it sat there a few more days.  I was still struggling with God and I opened the book for the first time on April 12.  These are the first words on April 12: "TRUSTING ME is a moment-by-moment choice."  Hey Lisa . . .Lisa . . .are you listening?  Hey Lisa!!  LISA!!!!  Coincidence?  Possibly.  Was I finally listening?  Possibly.  Does God still speak today?  I sure hope so.

So I'm still struggling with some big questions in my prayer time. I've been reading this devotion book as a part of my prayer time every day and have been amazed at how many times I have "heard" God speak through the author's words. 

Today I opened my devotion book . . . .Today's devotion from Jesus Calling -- April 30 is this:

WHEN SOME BASIC NEED IS LACKING– time, energy, money  (note from Lisa - insert any of those worries and concerns with which I am struggling) –consider yourself blessed. Your very lack is an opportunity to latch onto Me in unashamed dependence. When you begin a day with inadequate resources, you must concentrate your efforts on the present moment. This is where you are meant to love (note from Lisa - and LIVE - not always worrying about what is going to happen tomorrow).–in the present; it is the place where I always await you. Awareness of your inadequacy is a rich blessing, training you to rely wholeheartedly on Me.

The truth is that self-sufficiency is a myth perpetuated by pride and temporary success. Health and wealth can disappear instantly, as can life itself. Rejoice in your insufficiency, knowing that My Power is made perfect in weakness.
So guess what? . . .I'm supposed to trust God . . .and I am supposed to latch onto him in unashamed dependence . . . .and wait on him to answer these prayers.  I think he is speaking.  I think I've heard him call my name.  Lisa?  Lisa?  Are you listening?  Yes, Lord.  Speak . . for your servant is listening . . .and I'm trying to trust . . .and  I'm latching on for dear life.
These are truly the musings of a middle-aged momma's heart today.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

He's back . . . . . .

I am not fond of snakes . . .but we have one who lives in our yard and this is at least the third year in a row that we have found his skin after he has shed it. We've never seen him alive . . .we've only found his skin. Wonder where he lives????  To be honest . . .I hope I  never see him alive . . .but I sure wouldn't mind if he dined on a few chipmunks.  We have so many chipmunks and our kitty thinks he can catch them . . and we humor him . . .but he is an old man.  So maybe Mr. No Shoulders will catch and snack on a few chipmunks.

Speaking of snakes . . .my sister Becky lives in Texas and this weekend, she had not one snake SKIN but two LIVE snakes in her backyard and her neighbor had to come over and kill them for her. Her sweet dog, Savannah, sounded the alarm. Thank goodness she (the dog . . .nor Becky!!) was not bitten!!!! They know that the snake on Saturday was a water moccasin . . .there are bayou drain things that run behind their homes . . .they think the one on Sunday was the same thing.  I'm so thankful that her neighbor was able to help her!!!!  I don't have a picture of her snakes . . . I'm probably glad :-)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Amy's birthday

Remember the hunt for the beaters?  Remember the strawberry cake recipe?  The reason that I was hunting the beaters to make the cake was because we were going to celebrate Amy's birthday.  We love celebrations in our office.  We usually go together and put in a few dollars and purchase a gift certificate for something the birthday girl likes -- could be amazon.com or michaels or hobby lobby or belk or movie gift cards -- fun stuff!  We usually have balloons.  We almost always order lunch together on that day. 

Did you know that the dollar store has the best balloons?  They last for about three weeks.  I noticed that Amy's balloons are still in her office and they are just now beginning to deflate.  Our dollar tree opens at 8:00 which is wonderful.  It is right on my way to work so I am usually the "balloon purchaser."

Here is a picture of the cute birthday "girl" . . .isn't everyone a girl (or boy) on their birthday? Isn't that the one day we don't have to be a grown up? (after our 21st!!!) Birthdays are for celebrating. I firmly believe in celebrating life and the many blessings that surround us. One of the many blessings in my life is good friends at work!!

Super Hero Capes

Laura is an instructional aid this year at Shades Cahaba Elementary school and they sponsored a tent at Relay for Life. They needed an item to sell and someone suggested super hero capes like Laura had made for her first grade classroom for another event. Laura volunteered to make them. She came over on a Friday when she was out of school and we worked and worked!! It was so much fun to spend that time with her.

I had purchased an unbelievable amount of red and yellow fabric last year to make curtains for her apartment bedroom.  We quickly realized that they were going to look like a circus tent so we tossed that idea BUT I saved all the fabric.  I told Laura to save the Relay for Life funds and to use this fabric.  She cut multiple capes for small children and we sewed a casing for ribbon across the top.  We made an assembly line and sewed and threaded ribbon through the casing using the old fashioned method of a safety pin on the end of the ribbon!  Works every time!

I then typed the word "hero" into my silhouette software and welded it together so that the letters would all be touching at some point or other.  I bought some wonder under and ironed it onto the fabric.  I attached the fabric to my sticky mat and ran the mat through my silhouette cameo.  I then peeled off the backing and ironed the words onto the bottom of each cape.

Some capes had the word "hero" . . .some capes had lightning bolts . . .some capes had both . . .it was so much fun.  As a middle-aged mom I miss this kind of project.  I must admit that I don't miss the stress . . . but I miss the creativity and the fun.

oops- the bed is not made up very well - who has time for housework when there is creating to be done???
At least it was made up, right?

I think they were going to sell them for about $3 and of course the money goes for Relay for Life - so it is not really "selling" - it is only a donation for cancer research.  I didn't attend . . .I sure hope they were popular and people gave donations for them.

I was able to drag down the fold up table and set up the laptop, sewing machine and silhouette and work away right in the middle of the family room.  I enjoy being in the middle of everything and everyone.  I got Mark to bring the table back down this weekend so that I can work on invitations for Kaylor and Sarah's shower.  I'm going to try to make those, too!!

You never know what a middle-aged momma is going to be doing :-)

Friday, April 26, 2013

Easter Sunday 2013

When was Easter anyway? Am I over a month late with this post? Shoot . . .well, I guess that is better than six months, right? It is still spring. There are still spring flowers blooming and there is still pollen - LOTS of pollen - in the air. It is killing me. Just thought I would throw that in the mix. I'm take two allergy shots, zyrtec, singular, mucinex DM, a little tussin cough prescription pill (called pearls) - can't think of the name of it, nasonex and two inhalers . . .and I'm living a better life through modern medicine BUT I still haven't been able to wear mascara except for very special occasions and I still have spent only very limited time outside this spring. BUT I don't have cancer . . and I'm not homeless and the sun is shining and I can enjoy the gorgeous green grass and blue sky through the multitude of windows in my wonderful house and even from my office!! I have much for which to be thankful!!! So on to Easter. . .a month late.

I have bragged (I know - pride is a bad thing -it is a sin - but I didn't arrange these flowers so I'm bragging on others . . .I do not even know on whom I am bragging!!) on our flower committee before.  We have a dedicated group of women and a few men who do the most amazing job every single Sunday.  We always have the most beautiful altar arrangements.  These folks are not professionals.  They are church members - they are mommas and school teachers and folks who work at the YMCA - regular folks with amazing God given gifts.  They really "do it up" on holidays - the do flowers to the glory of God.  Look at this amazing altar arrangement.  God created those flowers and they were indeed used for his glory that day.

Mark and I went to the early traditional service because I NEED that service.  We leave the Good Friday service in darkness and silence.  I wrote a little about it on this day if you want to go back and read . . .maybe in the second or third paragraph.  I need to be in the sanctuary . . .when it is dark and quiet on Sunday morning and they bring in the Christ candle and we sing Alleluia and the lights come on and the orchestra plays and the white flowers are on the altar and the black cloth is gone from the church . . .oh my goodness, just typing those word . . . I have goose bumps running up and down my arms.  I need that service - my Jesus is risen and he walks and talks with me every day.  I need to be reminded of that on Easter morning and I "GET" that in the traditional service. 

Our "children" were all going to attend the early contemporary service which was back to back with the early traditional service.  I did something that I rarely ever do.  This service met during the Sunday School hour . . .and I've been teaching Sunday School for over 20 years and I rarely miss but I chose being with my family in worship on Easter Sunday as my priority . . .and it was the right thing to do.  They didn't want me to take this picture but I took it anyway.  There are just some rights to being a middle-aged momma - yes, there are.  Glenn is on the left and then Lauren and Laura and our friend, Sean.  He wasn't going to be in the picture but we told him that he is one of ours also.  We feel that way about so many of our kid's friends.  They are ours, too.  There is something very scriptural about that also!!!!  Sean is one of our Tuesday night guys and he has been the best friend to Laura.
oops - this picture is out of order -- this was in early traditional service - we were sitting surrounded by our friends - The Beers family was sitting in front of us and the Pattersons were sitting on the pew with us.  What in the world would we do without our faith family?  I truly cannot imagine what we would do.  They are with us through the good times and the bad.
This was the cross on the altar in the contemporary service.  Our friend, Tim Lunceford, made it.  He is so incredibly talented.  He sells all sorts of metal items - especially crosses - some are sheet metal - some are nails.  His items are very reasonably priced.  He has made many things that are used in the contemporary service and in our youth department.  He has this incredible workshop behind his house and when I walked in there, I cried . . .because it smelled like my daddy.  ok - this had nothing to do with Easter . . .but those of you who know me, know that sometimes I run off on a quick tangent . . but I'm back.  The cross was on the altar and it was draped in white cloth and it was lighted from below and it was lovely.
Lauren and Glenn wanted me to take their picture.  We went outside to the flower cross but the line was too long so we went down into the new prayer garden.  Our children's department raises butterflies from cocoons during Lent . . .and releases them on Easter Sunday.  I can't believe I was able to capture this magnificent picture while in the prayer garden.  The butterfly was on a child's finger and I walked right up to the family and said, "May I please take a picture?"  Look at the markings.  God is amazing.
We were able to get several good shots - this is at the entrance - the gates to the columbarium.

Of course, after church we went to grandmother's house for lunch.  She had her table all decorated for lunch.  She is in her late 80's and she still decorates and serves Sunday lunch - though on this day, we all helped.

We  had a wonderful lunch of turkey and ham and devilled eggs and green bean and artichoke casserole - remember my anguish on that day?  I just made two different recipes!!  I decided to keep the peace.  We had potato salad and carrot salad and pickles and olives and oriental slaw and carrot cake and bunny cookies and I can't even remember all the other delicious goodies.  Look at the table . . .notice at each place . . .the Easter bunny had arrived and left a surprise!!!  It was a wonderful lunch enjoyed by family.  I must say that Easter 2013 was a good Easter.  What a blessed day!!!

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

strawberry cake and icing

Have you heard of Christy Jordan over at southernplate.com?  She has some great recipes!!  I cannot tell you how many of her recipes I have used in the last few years.  My friend, Lori, told me about her after I tasted Lori's amazing King Cake.  Lori said, "Have you heard of Southern Plate?"  Well, I had not so Lori sent me this recipe for King Cake.  It is delicious!!  On that very day, I subscribed to Christy Jordan's site and have been following her ever since then. I like her recipes but I also like her "southern-ness" and her sense of what is important - things like family!!

I wanted to make a strawberry cake similar to one that a local restaurant serves so I searched for copy cat recipes for Ashley Mac's Strawberry Cake.  I think Ashley Mac's makes the best in town - better than anyone else!  BUT I don't always want to spend a minimum of $30 for a cake.  She does sell cupcakes so you can get a few for less than $30.  I wanted to make a cake for work for Amy's birthday.  So I kept searching for recipes.  Finally I thought to myself, "I wonder if Southern Plate has a recipe for Strawberry Cake?"  Well, of course, she does!!!  I printed off the recipe and stopped at the Piggly Wiggly on the way home to purchase the ingredients that I didn't already have in the pantry or fridge.

I made the cake by her recipe but I changed up the icing. The cake recipe by Christy Jordan at Southern Plate is this:
1 package plain white cake mix
1 cup chopped strawberries (I used fresh - chopped them - put them in a baggie - smushed them around (rolled over them with rolling pin) to get out all the juice - you need to use the juice also)
3/4 cup milk
1 package strawberry jello (3 ounce) - I used the real kind - not sugar free
3/4 cup vegetable oil (I only have canola)
3 eggs (I always have jumbo)
Grease and flour (and I cut out wax paper circles) two 8 inch round baking pans.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place cake mix, milk, jello, oil and eggs in mixing bowl.
Beat with mixer until smooth and creamy - about two minutes or so.
Add in strawberries and juice, mix again until well combined.
Pour into pans.
Tap pans on smooth surface to get bubbles out.
Bake at 350 for 25 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.
Do not overbake.
Cool in pans on rack for 10 minutes.
Then take cake layers out of pans and cool COMPLETELY.
Frosting recipe:
2 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese - I did use light - might use full fat next time
1 stick land o lakes butter softened
1 box confectioner's sugar
about 1/3 cup of chopped fresh strawberries -  chopped very, very fine
one to two drops of red food coloring
Mix all ingredients together.
Put icing between layers and ice outside of cake.
My icing was soft (possibly because of strawberries . . possibly because of two drops of food coloring . . .possibly because of low fat cream cheese) After icing cake, I stored in refrigerator over night. The next morning, I scooped the icing from the cake plate back up onto the cake and "cleaned" the cake plate with a damp paper towel. I stored in the fridge at work until lunch time. The frosting was soft but did not "run" off the cake anymore. It was a very moist and yummy cake. I poked some holes in the cake layers as I was icing the cake so some of that soft icing could penetrate down through the layers.

It was a pretty tasty way to celebrate a birthday at work!!!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

mini me and the hunt for the beaters

Dadgum it . . .I was on a roll . . .I was blogging every few days . . .even if it was about "unimportant stuff." Then life happened. Sometimes life just happens. That is a good thing! I was talking to another middle aged mom at a wedding tea on Sunday afternoon and she and I agreed with each other that we are both busier now than we have ever been . . .and we have no little kids at home. How could that be? Life is good. It really is.

Life is busy but there is always time to try a new recipe . . .but first I had some trouble.  I received a cute red "mini me" (my name for this appliance - not the company's name for it) hand mixer by Kitchen Aid for Christmas - either from George or Alice or Grace - one of them had my name.  I wanted to use it to mix up the icing for the strawberry cake that I was baking.  I got out the body of the mixer but I COULD NOT find the beaters anywhere.  You have to understand that the mixer stays in the same place all the time - the hand mixer and the electric knife and the beaters and the blades - all right there together.  Where the beaters should have been, there was a pair of cute little whisky things still in plastic but I kept insisting, "No, I've used this mixer.  I know it has regular beaters.  Where did we put them?"  Glenn and Mark got a flashlight and looked in every cabinet and took out every pot and pan and I looked in every drawer and we could not find the beaters.  We had been looking at least 30 minutes and my sweet daughter-in-law, Lauren, sauntered into the kitchen.  She had been sitting in the room right next to us and she could hear us banging around.  She asked if she could help.  We told her the story and she picked up the little red mini-me mixer and said, "Are you sure you've used this?"  As she asked the question, she held up the plug which still had the factory plastic on it!!!  Oops . . .all that searching.  So . . .those little tiny whisky looking things (you know - like whisks) are the beaters!!!!!  Mark had left the room when we realized this and Glenn said, "We won't say anything.  You don't have to tell dad."  Of course, I did.  Boy, did I feel silly!! I still can't get over  how tiny they are!!!!

You can see why I call it "mini me" . . .this is the "BIG" mixer.  I love both of my red mixers.  I usually don't want appliances for gifts but I LOVE both of these and have used the BIG one often.  I thought I had used the little one . . .but evidently not!!
Tomorrow I will share the recipe!!!

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Ben's Birthday 2013

When family lives far away, celebrating birthdays together rarely happens . . .so when it does happen, it is wonderful!! Our nephew, Ben, is in his senior year at Vanderbilt and he will be going on to Medical School when he graduates. We are so proud of him. He is such a well-rounded young man - really smart, kind, and good.  When Ben and his brothers were little boys, my sister-in-law, Susie, would bring them from wherever they were living - Virginia, Delaware, Iowa, Indiana, etc. - and they would stay for a month in the summer. During those days, I was mostly a stay at home mom and our kids spent many long summer days together swimming and going to the park and movies. Susie and I would spend hours refereeing four boys and one little girl as they played together. Seems like someone was always crying . . .but it was fun. If I close my eyes, I can still see us sitting around Uncle John and Aunt June's pool . . .I can hear the kids as they jumped off the diving board . . .I can see them eagerly eating their snack of graham crackers (usually chockwit - translation - chocolate) and lemonade that Aunt June brought out every single time on a tray. Those are memories that I hope I never forget.

Then something happened. Our kids all grew up. The youngest boy is a junior in high school. The oldest three - Laura, Glenn and Paul -  have all graduated from college and are adults. Real adults. How could that be? Ben is going on to medical school to be a doctor. I guess I have to call him an adult, too - good grief, he is going to medical school!!   We still have sweet Grace who is finishing her freshman year of high school but she came along too late to participate in those long lazy days that I am remembering.

So this year, we celebrated Ben's birthday when he drove down to spend Easter weekend with us. We live close enough for him to drive for a weekend when it is just too far for him to drive all the way home.  It just happened to be the same week of his birthday this year ---- which was great!!! I was trying to remember the last birthday celebration we were able to share with him. He came for Easter last year but Easter was in April so his birthday had already passed. It has been quite a few years!!

Grandmother made a carrot cake and it was yummy!!

Happy birthday to you, Ben! You are a fine young man and we are so proud of you!!!
p.s. Have you noticed that we celebrate a lot of birthdays?  Life is a gift - let's celebrate!!  Don't you agree?

Friday, April 12, 2013

Things go BUMP in the night

Sound asleep . . .snoring in my bed . . . LOUD NOISE. . .maybe it was a dream . . . maybe Mark stumbled into the wall when he got up to go to the bathroom.  I thought to myself, "I'll roll over and turn my pillow over to the cool side and I'll go back to sleep."  Well, of course I couldn't go back to sleep.  Do you know why?  Because once I was awakened, I had to go to the bathroom.  I rolled over and punched the clock - 4:40a.  Dadgum it.  So I got up and came out of the bedroom and started into the bathroom.  I heard someone say, "mom?"  "mom?"  I noticed a light was on.  My first thought . . .wait for it . ..I'm such a bad wife and mother . . my first thought was, "oh crap.  someone is sick."  How could I have even thought that in a split second?  But I did .  .  . because I'm a bad wife and mother.  Glenn said, "did you hear something?"  Oh yeah.  That loud noise I just heard.  I wasn't dreaming.  Yeah!  I heard something.  Relief - it was a noise - not sickness.  I am a really bad wife and mother.  I can't help it.  Noise is so much better than throw up.  That  noise was really loud.  I didn't dream it.  Glenn said that he and Lauren had heard it also - not just once but at least twice - and that George, our neighbor's dog, was barking like crazy.  I went to the back door and turned on all the outside lights.  I thought that a tree had possibly fallen after the storm.  I didn't see a single thing out of place.  Glenn went to the front door and turned on those outside lights.  By this time, Glenn and Lauren and I were all standing in our nightclothes staring through the blinds into the front yard . . .at 4:45 in the morning . . . with unbrushed teeth . . .sleepy in our eyes (do you call it sleepy in your eyes?).  We still didn't see anything or anyone.  We did see a car speeding quickly down the road . . .newspaper delivery I assume (sure hope it wasn't a burglar or something . . . .).  Have you noticed anyone missing from this story?  Finally about this time, Mark joined the party.  Mark came out of the bedroom fully dressed in shorts and a t-shirt and he went out to the driveway to make sure that no one has messed with the cars and realized that he left his car unlocked all night . . .but all the cars were fine and dandy.  So we have a mystery . . .what in the world made a really loud noise at 4:40 this morning?  Was the cat performing an acrobatic act in the den upstairs?  Possibly jumping from one piece of furniture to another?  Did the cat fall off the sofa in his sleep?  Was someone in the neighborhood "up to no good"?  Our next door neighbor leaves his pick up truck in the driveway every night and he recently forgot to lock it . . .and the next morning, someone had taken some really important stuff from his truck . . .and had already used the neighbor's credit card at Walmart - at like 2:30 in the morning!!!  The store was even able to provide our neighbor with a picture of the person from their security camera.

So what did we hear?  What went BUMP in the night?

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Gluten Free Cheesecake Recipe

I told y'all about this cheesecake yesterday and I emailed my sister-in-law in Delaware and asked if her mother-in-law would share the recipe (that is where MY mother-in-law got the recipe!!).  I thought someone out there might need a gluten free/latex free cheesecake recipe.  Let me just tell you that this is delicious!!!  My mother-in-law changes two things to make it safe for my sister-in-law, Rebecca, to eat.  She leaves out the lemon juice (she can't have any fruit due to the latex allergy) and she substitutes corn starch for the flour.
Stratford Cheese Cake

(better known as Betsy's Cheesecake) (Betsy is my sister-in-law's (Susie) mother-in-law :-)

2 lbs. cream cheese (32ozs.)

7 eggs

1 1/2 cups sugar

1 pint heavy cream

juice of 1 lemon (not sure Mom adds this -- she doesn't!!)

2 tbsp. vanilla

2 tbsp. flour (substitute corn starch for gluten free)

Cream the cheese until fluffy. Add the eggs 1 at a time beating well after each. Add sugar, lemon juice, vanilla and flour. Beat well. Add cream. The batter will be thin. Pour into a heavily buttered spring form pan. (I would put foil around bottom so water will not seep in).

Preheat oven to 350.

1. Bake in a pan of water to a level 1/2 way up on spring form pan for 65 minutes.

2. Turn off oven and leave pan in the oven with the door closed for 30 minutes. (this is an important step according to my mother-in-law!!!)

3. Leave pan in oven with door open for 30 minutes. (this step is also important!!)

4. Cool. Refrigerate when cooled for 4-5 hours before serving. (overnight is good)

My mother-in-law decorates with whipped cream around the edge.

Friday, April 5, 2013

When is YOUR birthday?

Last Sunday at lunch, we were all laughing about dates of actual birthdays . . .and we couldn't name everyone's actual date BECAUSE we celebrate all birthdays on Sundays at Grandmother's house.  Everyone's birthday is on a Sunday . . .so we might know that Mark and George and Bill all celebrate in August . . .but on which Sunday will we celebrate?  Does that even make sense or did you have to be a part of the actual discussion?

Well, what brought up the whole discussion was that Aunt Rebecca's birthday actually fell on a Sunday this year!!!  So we celebrated on her actual birthday - a true rarity in this in-law family of mine.  Rebecca is my sister-in-law - married to Mark's brother, Bill.  Rebecca is allergic to latex and gluten and her diet is very limited but Grandmother will not allow that to deter her . . .she is going to find a cake that works . . . and can be eaten by the birthday person.  Grandmother has a recipe for a crustless cheesecake that is delicious!!!  Others in the family have actually requested this cheesecake for various occasions.

We don't put the correct number of candles on any cake.  Ladies usually have 16 - sweet sixteen forever - on their cakes once they pass a certain age.  The boys only get about 3.  I can't even remember what that stands for - past, present and future, perhaps?
Aunt Rebecca didn't blow all of them out at once.  Look in the mirror . . .you can see Mark with his hands on his hips - looking like he wants to help!!!
She got them all with a second breath.
Now if you gave up and stopped reading earlier . . .you missed the funniest part of this post. By the time we got to the cake portion of the celebration, everyone had already gone on their merry way except for Mark and George and Grandmother and me. The kids all had things to do that afternoon and Bill and Rebecca are usually late arrivals and Glenn, Laura and Lauren were not able to stay any longer. Grace & Alice were out of town so they weren't with us that day. When it came time to sing happy birthday, I said, "Oh no! There is no one left to sing." Well, Mark and George decided that they could do a good job all by themselves and on the spur of the moment, they started singing Happy Birthday to some other tune and doing some funky dance all around the dining room. My mouth dropped open watching these two men - almost 60 years old - I was laughing so hard that I was crying AND I DIDN'T THINK TO VIDEO THEIR PERFORMANCE. I swear it would win $10,000 on America's Funniest Videos. . . if only I had captured it on film. Those two never cease to amaze me. I guess that is one of the reasons I fell in love with Mark and have stayed in love with him - he is just so dadgum funny at times. Being middle-aged doesn't stop the fun . . .no, no it doesn't . . . and I sure do love to laugh! I was thinking that I had veered off the subject of "Rebecca's birthday" here at the end of the post but as I scrolled back to the top I realized . . .this post started with laughter and ended with laughter. Just like my life!!