Thursday, December 24, 2009

Good news...


Monday, December 21, 2009

Reconnecting with a friend...

I baked some Highland Oatmeal Cookies over the week-end for our family but also made them with a sweet friend in mind.  She loves them so I gave her some Sunday.  Everytime I bake them I think of the person that gave me the recipe.  We met her and her husband when we were stationed in Hawaii in 1973-77.  We stayed in touch for years but then lost touch with each other.  Today I began to think about this friend and thought how fun it would be to find her and learn about her and her family.  I began an online search and was thrilled when I found her daughter.  I contacted her and asked about her mom.  She gave me her mom's email and phone number and said she would love to talk with me.  I was so happy!  I plan to call her this week and am looking forward to it.  One thing I want to do is to tell her how much I have always loved her cookies and how I make them for friends in the same way she made them for me many years ago. 

Below is the recipe.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I have all these years.

Highland Oatmeal Cookies
2 C. sifted flour
1 t. ground cinnamon
1/2 t. salt
1/2 t. baking soda
1 C. softened butter or margarine
1 C. brown sugar, firmly packed
1/2 C. honey (or sugar) (I use honey)
1 egg
2 t. vanilla
1/4 C. water - reduce for honey
1/2 C. chopped nuts (I do not add)
1 C. raisins (I do not add)
2 1/2 C. rolled oats
Put pecan halves on top.
Sift flour, cinnamon, salt, and baking soda together.  Beat butter, sugars, egg and vanilla until light and fluffy.  Stir in water.  Add dry ingredients.  Blend. Stir in nuts and raisins.  Stir in rolled oats 1 C. at a time.  Mix well.  Drop by rounded t. about 2 inches apart onto lightly greased cookie sheet.  Press pecan half on each cookie.
Bake in a 375 degree oven for 10-12 minutes. 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Christmas crafts...

This morning Colette (4 1/2) and I went to Shawna's to do a Christmas craft with Ashlynn (2 1/2).They had such fun making Christmas tree ornaments with felt and beads. Colette also made a necklace for her and one for a friend.

Ashlynn's ornaments

Colette's ornaments

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Christmas time with Hannah, Samuel & Ashlynn...

We are so thankful for each child that is a part of our lives.  We had a fun time Friday night giving gifts to Hannah and Samuel and they gave gifts to Ashlynn.  We loved watching the smiles on their faces and hearing their giggles.  We are blessed by each of them!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Autumn Chowder...

It has been very cold here in Texas and I always like soup on cold days. Yesterday I was looking through my Taste of Home Soup cookbook and found this recipe.  I doubled it as I was feeding three and we ate almost all of it.  It is very easy to make.  We loved it and I will definitely make it again!  Hope you enjoy!

Autumn Chowder
     ~~from Taste of Home

2 bacon strips, diced
1/4 cup chopped onion (I did not use)
1 medium red potato, cubed
1 small carrot, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced
1/2 cup water
3/4 teaspoon chicken bouillon granules
1 cup milk
2/3 cup frozen corn
1/8 teaspoon pepper
2-1/2 teaspoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons cold water
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large saucepan, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp; remove to paper towels. Drain, reserving 1 teaspoon drippings. In the drippings, saute onion until tender. Add the potato, carrot, water and bouillon. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until the vegetables are almost tender.

Stir in the milk, corn and pepper. Cook 5 minutes longer. Combine the flour and cold water until smooth; gradually whisk into soup. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened. Remove from the heat; stir in cheese until melted. Sprinkle with bacon. Yield: 2 servings.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Deeper Still...

Two friends and I attended the Deeper Still event in Oklahoma City, OK this week end. Kay Arthur, Beth Moore, and Priscilla Shirer were the speakers. Travis Cottrell was the worship leader.  I loved each ladies teaching!  Kay Arthur taught from Hebrews and told us how important it is to live by God's Word. Priscilla taught from Ephesians and told us to see the Greatness of God and shift our attention from our problem to God.  Beth spoke from several different scriptures and talked to us about spiritual discernment.
After the session on Friday night we went back to our room and decided to order room service.  We sat on our beds and talked and talked.  After 45 minutes we realized our food had never come.  A call was made and the food arrived but we were not charged for it.  Not only that, but we received fruit and a piece of cheesecake to make up for the food being so late.  What a blessing!  We also enjoyed room service in the morning.  We had a yummy breakfast, but had to pay this time. :)
At the end of the event Kay, Beth and Priscilla had a question and answer time.  The questions were taken from emails that ladies had sent in.  This was more of a fun time than serious and we had lots of laughs.
I am very thankful for my week end of great Bible teaching and fun time with my sweet friends!!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas letters...

We wrote a Christmas letter this year. For some reason we have not written one for a couple years. Ours is written and some were mailed today. As I was sitting here addressing and putting stamps on the envelopes I began to wonder how many letters I would receive this year. So many people have email, a blog, are on facebook, twitter and numerous other networks that I wonder if they feel it unnecessary to write a Christmas letter, or any letter. I miss receiving letters that come to my mailbox. Not the computer mailbox but the one outside. I remember when I could hardly wait for the mailman to come to see if I had a letter from a friend or family member. Often I would tuck them away to read again later. I have done that with some of the Christmas letters I have received. How fun to find one the next year and read once again the news of that family while waiting to receive that year's letter from them. So I hope my friends and family that receive our newsy Christmas letter will enjoy it...and hopefully send us one. I will be watching for the mailman! :)

Wednesday, December 2, 2009


It is December and I really cannot believe it.  I have actually started my Christmas shopping though.  I am looking forward to my sister coming from Honduras where she is a missionary and my nephew coming from Ft. Riley where he is stationed in the Army.  I am doing some baking so I have some things in the freezer when they arrive.  The other day I made yogurt muffins.  They are very easy.  My daughter, Shawna, gave me the recipe.


1/2 c. melted butter
1 (8 oz.) c. any flavor yogurt
3/4 c. sugar
1 egg
2 c. flour
1/2 tsp. soda

Mix well and spoon into lightly greased muffin pans. Bake at 375 degrees for 20 minutes. Makes 12-18 muffins.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Happy Anniversary...

Today is Stacy and Travis' 3rd wedding anniversary!
We love you both!

Happy Anniversary!!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Jim's trip to Honduras...

Jim just returned from a mission trip to Honduras.  While there the city of Comayagua opened up a viritual library for the people in the city. The mayor of the city named it in memory of Amy.  What a blessing to know she is being remembered in the city she visited on a mission trip in 1998. I often think how she would be so amazed and humbled at the number of things that have been done in her memory!

After the tour a group of high school students
performed for Jim.

Jim presented the Amy Elizabeth Pack Memorial Scholarship to a senior from Ruach International School. It is always fun to surprise the person receiving the scholarship. Carlos had no idea he was the recipient until his name was called! We once again were able to give $1,000.00 thanks to the generosity of family and friends!  This is such a blessing to be able to help another young person as we remember Amy's life!

In 2001 our church brought a 10 yr. old Honduran girl with severe scoliosis to Scottish Rite Hospital for surgery.  Without this surgery she would not have lived long.  The surgery was successful and she is graduating from high school this year.  Jim planned a two day overnight stay for her and her family at a hotel in the mountains. This is something they had never done.  A nice dinner was provided and they celebrated with a cake made by one of our missionary's daughter.  Friends from our church gave cards of congratulations and each card included at least $5.00. We also gave her digital camera.  Jim said she was overwhelmed with the love shown her. 

Friday, November 13, 2009

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffins

A friend gave me a cook book called 1 Mix, 100 Muffins. There is one basic recipe and you can make 100 different muffins. I made the Chocolate Cinnamon Muffins tonight. They smell so good.  I plan to take them to a friend who just came home from the hospital with her baby. The recipe is below if you would like to try them. Or maybe you would like to buy the book. Just click on the name and it will take you to It would make a great Christmas gift for someone on your list that likes to bake!

Chocolate Cinnamon Muffins
   makes 12

heaping 1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 tbsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp salt
heaping 1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 cup semisweet chocolate chips
2 large eggs
1 cup milk
6 tbsp. sunflower oil or melted, cooled butter

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Grease a 12-cup muffin pan or line with 12 muffin paper liners.  Sift together the flour, cocoa, baking powder, cinnamon, and salt into a large bowl.  Stir in the sugar and chocolate chips.

2. Lightly beat the eggs in a large pitcher or bowl, then beat in the milk and oil.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the liquid ingredients.  Stir gently until just combined; do not overmix.

3. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin pan.  Bake for 20 minutes, until well risen and firm to the touch.

4. Let the muffins cool in the pan for 5 minutes, then serve warm or transfer to a wire rack and let cool completely.

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Monday, November 9, 2009

Trusting in the Lord...

My precious daughter, Stacy, wrote a meaningful post on her blog, Sweeter Things.  I know you will be encouraged and filled with hope as you read it. Feel free to leave her a comment.  She would love it.

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Friday, November 6, 2009

Little Pilgrim's Progress...

I have been reading Little Pilgrims Progress to 4 yr. old Colette, the little girl I take care of.  It was written by Helen L. Taylor fifty five years ago.  She took John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and wrote this book so that a child could understand.  I found the copy I bought when my children were young. I asked her if she would like me to read it to her.  She asked, "Is it a picture book?"  I told her no it wasn't and if after I read the first chapter she was not interested we would not continue.  She loved it. The chapters are short, about 2-3 pages and we read one or more chapters every day at nap time. She always wants, "one more chapter".  I am enjoying reading it as much as Colette.  I hope you will start reading this book to your child, grandchild, or any child in your life. I highly recommend it.

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Sunday, November 1, 2009

Think on this...

There is something of beauty to be learned from every dark and lonely place in our lives.
It is in those times of obedience during suffering that we have an opportunity to experience our Father as more than enough.
Out of the rough material of our trials, He is more than willing to fashion objects of beauty.

~~Lisa Bevere (from Fight Like a Girl)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Happy Birthday Shawna

Today is Shawna's birthday. She is our precious daughter of our heart! She is married to Austin and they have a beautiful daughter, Ashlynn Kate. Shawna has a giving and caring heart. She loves to serve and help others. She is a great cook and often brings by something she has baked. She is a wonderful wife, mommy and friend. We are so grateful the Lord brought her into our lives 10 years ago.

Happy Birthday Shawna!

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Happy Birthday Travis

Today is our son-in-law's birthday! We are so thankful that Travis is in our family and truly feel like he is a son. He is a wonderful husband to our precious daughter, Stacy. He has a great sense of humor and when family is together he is sure to make us laugh! If help is needed we know we can call on him because he has a servant's heart. He is always ready for a game of golf or watching sports with Jim. Stacy and I often talk about how much they are alike. We thank the Lord that He brought Travis into Stacy's life...and ours!

Happy Birthday Travis!

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Friday, October 23, 2009

I was trying to think of what to fix for dinner tonight and remembered a soup I had not fixed for a long time. The recipe comes from a recipe book called Once-A-Month Cooking by Mimi Wilson & Mary Beth Lagerborg. It contains recipes and instructions on freezing meals a month (or less). The soup recipe is called Hearty Hamburger Tomato Stew. I plan to freeze what we didn't eat tonight. I served cornbread muffins with it.


1 pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 1/4 cups chopped onion
2 cups peeled and sliced carrots
1 cup chopped green bell pepper
1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms
1 16-ounce can cut green beans, drained
1 16-ounce can corn, drained
3 stalks sliced celery
1 46-ounce can tomato juice
2 teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon celery seed
Salt & pepper to taste

Brown ground beef or turkey in a large saucepan. Mix in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil; reduce heat. Simmer covered 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Cool and freeze.

To prepare for serving, thaw stew. Then bring to a boil; reduce heat; simmer 10 minutes.

Makes 8 servings

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Trust His heart...

This song keeps going through my mind. It is where I am today! Is there something you are walking through where you can't see His plan? If so, read the words to this song and do as it says...Trust His heart!

All things work for the good

Though sometimes we can't
See how they could
Struggles that break our hearts in two
Sometimes blind us to the truth
Our Father knows what's best for us
His ways are not our own
So when your pathway grows dim
And you just can't see him,
Remember He's still on the throne

God is too wise to be mistaken
God is too good to be unkind
So when you don't understand
When you don't see his plan
When you can't trace his hand
Trust His Heart

He sees the master plan
He holds the future in his hand,
Don't live as those who have no hope,
While our hope is found in him.
We see the present clearly
But he sees the first and last
And like a tapestry
He's weaving you and me,
To someday be just like him
He alone is faithful and true
He alone knows what is best for you

When you can't trace his hand
When you don't see his plan
When you don't understand
Trust His Heart

(Trust His Heart, Babbie Mason)