All I Ever Needed To Know…

I had what I now recognize as the distinct privilege of living with my grandmother for a few years until she entered the nursing home where she would pass some several years down the road.  Every year until her health prevented it, Grandma would  bake Christmas cookies for everyone in the family.  We’re talking hundreds of Gingerbread men and sugar cookies, all made from scratch and all hand-painted with her own homemade icing and “egg paint.”  As a child, I didn’t understand the importance of this gift and so I guess I just didn’t pay attention.  A few days ago, while reading my cousin’s blog, I learned something about the lovely woman I called Grandma that had me in tears, wishing I could go back and appreciate her more while she was with us.

Those cookies were not only scratch-made and hand-painted, but also hand-cut with a butter knife using templates she’d cut out of magazines and traced onto cardboard.  It seems she’d lost her cookie cutters years prior and the “new fangled ones” were never quite right.  Learning this floored me.  It wasn’t just sugary confections she was giving us after all…it was hours upon hours of her time and all of her love.

I talked with my mom after reading this, because I knew she still had some of Grandma’s things.  I asked her for the recipes and if she hadn’t thrown out those templates, to please send those too.  Lo and behold, she still had them…and handy, as if she’d been expecting someone to ask for them all these years since Grandma went home.

Tonight, I was sitting here going through and reading the first group of recipes from Anna Belle’s Kitchen…and I come across what must be the most important recipe I ever missed.   I’ll post it below since it’s really not as much of a family secret as Grandma’s cookies:


Lover’s Wedding Cake

4 lbs flour of love

1/2 lb each of buttered youth, good looks, sweet temper, blindness of fault, self forgetfulness and powdered wits

1/2 oz dry humor

2 Tbsp sweet argument

1/2 pint rippling laughter

1/2 glass of common sense

Pour the flour of love into a well furnished house.  Beat the butter of youth into a cream.  Mix blindness of fault, self-forgetfulness, powdered wits and dry humor into sweet argument and add all to above.  Pour in gently rippling laughter and common sense. Work it all together until mixed well, then bake gently forever.

You see, all I ever needed to know about marriage was in Grandma’s cookbook all along.  Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned, and for the place I am in today.  I know I couldn’t be where I am, and my husband and I couldn’t be where we are together today if I hadn’t learned those lessons.  I do so hope that in the future, I won’t be so stubborn and hard to teach, though.   God bless you all!  Have a very Merry CHRISTmas!


Be a Christmas Miracle

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’  “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’  Matthew 25:34-40

Christmas is coming. For a lot of people in our country, that means standing in lines to buy whatever new gadgets or fashion accessories are on the hot list this year. But for one family I know, it means possibly losing their home.  The very same home they so generously and hospitably opened to me and my family when we were moving from Florida to Pennsylvania and had hardly a dime to our names.  This is heartbreaking to me.  She and her husband are both veterans.  They are getting as much help as the VA will give which, surprisingly, isn’t much.   I could tell you so much about this caring, generous woman.  She has been my friend for many years.  Even during my lost years, she left a door open for me and when I came back, she welcomed me with open arms and not one ounce of resentment for me abandoning her.  I’ve never deserved the blessing her friendship has been to me, but it has always been there, given freely…because God’s grace flows through her unchecked. I am writing this in the sincere hope that those who read it will find it in their hearts to reach out to this family and help them.  I assure you, unlike many of the pages on Go Fund Me, this is not an elaborate scheme for someone to get your hard earned dollar so they can buy a new 3D television or game system or take some grand vacation.  This family genuinely and desperately needs your help to save their home from foreclosure.

I recognize that we all have troubles and finances are tight for many this year.  My family still lives in a two sizes too small apartment because we can’t afford anything else, but we have food on the table, a steady income and clothes on our backs.  I count us immeasurably blessed because we could so easily be where the Tuck family may soon be if not for the love and kindness of our Christian brothers and sisters, my dear friend and her family included.  So we help as much as my husband has agreed to do, and sometimes more than he’s agreed to but he is gracious and loves me enough to allow it.  We just do not have the means to solve my dear friend’s problems…not on our own.

I’m reaching out to you all…anyone who reads this post…and I’m asking you that if you have even just a little more than you need…could you help us do God’s work and provide a Christmas miracle for this family?  Is there really any better way to celebrate the reason for the season?

If you want to know more about this family and how you can help, you can click this link :