Friday, December 3, 2010

Easy Natural Gift Ideas to Make & a Sweet Recipe Too!

Hello Dear Ones!

Here are some nice natural gift suggestions done by our daughter, Marianna a couple of years ago. Marianna and I have our level one herbology certificate (Family Herbalist) and we are trying very hard to achieve more natural ways of spicing up life.

I'll follow up with a sweet recipe for you as well for scrumptious melt in your mouth Molasses cookies from Marianna. Having four daughters is a blessing, they love to cook and create so it usually looks something like You Can't Take it With You (1938) ....Me? I'm the mom on the typewriter with the kitty as a paper weight! LOL Instead of making fireworks in the basement, hubs is either making his music in his recording studio, or scooting out the door with a brief case to his small town office...Sewing, cooking, creating and we're all creative messies. Imagine that? (Never come over unannounced!) Ha!

The first video is on making your own naturally fragrant bath salts, enjoy!

How to make natural body & linen sprays. How cool is this? : )

How to on making natural body powder! Is this not neat?

And here is Marianna's Molasses cookies, she found the base for the recipe in an old paperback copy of Fannie Farmer Cookbook. These really do melt in your mouth, I am not a fan of spice cookies or things of the sort, but oh my....These are what I call wowee!

Here's Marianna's variation of the recipe:

Marianna's Molasses Cookies ~Marianna

1/4 cup molasses
1/2 cup butter
3/4 cup dark-brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon groundcloves
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 egg
1 cup flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon baking soda

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Mix the molasses, butter, brown sugar, and egg in a bowl, combining well. Mix the flour, salt, spices and baking soda together, add to the first mixture, and blend thoroughly. Arrange by teaspoonfuls on ungreased cookie sheets, about 1 inch apart, and bake for 6-8 minutes or until crisp and lightly browned. Sometimes Marianna will place a pecan half on each cookie. So homie!

And here's a tip from yours truly, Mama-Mi-Mi ; )

Since we're talking molasses here, did you know if you have a bitter pot of coffee (horrors!) especially if your kin folks are over....You can add a drop of molasses to a cup and voila! That molasses has a way of taking that bitter taste right out. You can also add a teaspoon to the coffee maker basket when making coffee too. Try it! : ) So far, I've not had it fail.

Enjoy your families! Enjoy this advent season, I'm trying hard to keep things in proper focus on Christ keeping things simple but wondrous and sweet too. : )

K.I.S.S. Keep it simple sweeties! (I got that from Dr. & Dorothy Moore years ago on homeschooling). Oh that we would have more Dr. & Dorothy Moores! If you ever get a chance, check their books out, they were and are a blessing!

If you get the druthers you and your entire family may be very blessed by a Bing Crosby radio program on my VisionforaGodlyHome.blogspot This is a WONDERFUL old time 1940s radio program with a precious, precious story of a special little donkey.... along with GREAT Christmas music by Bing!

Also some old time 40s movie suggestions will be gradually posted in the comments section of VisionforaGodlyHome.blogspot as we think of them for the Christmas season.

Here is one favorite called "Meet John Doe" (1941) in entirety, it's not digitally remastered as a bought copy or televised would be, but I think you'll enjoy it just the same. What a Christ glorifying message. When we came back home with my baby girl from the birth center one beautiful late November night in 1993 we watched this movie for the first time, talk about a sweet memory!

Movie: Meet John Doe (1941) in entirety!

Movie Description

Bless you all! (Said in the most southern drawl imaginable) *Muah* (A sister kiss on the cheek) ~Amelia

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Rain, Candles and a Soup Mix Gift...Yes Indeedie!

loading ... Oh me oh my it's raining today in the neighborhood, one of our four doglets, Muffie is on my lap, poor little guy, he becomes very frightened when it rains. Muffie the man is a tiny little Schitzu. He is our little golden-boy, as tiny as he is, he thinks he is ten feet tall ...except when it rains. And thunder and lightening? Oh he is so frightened, he shakes and shakes, we feel so sorry for him and just try to hold him during these times. Our daughter Marianna picked him up from the middle of a busy road on the day of primaries. He was matted with his collar rusted shut, poor little thing...Apparently he had been left out in the elements. We call him Muffie, but his official name is Muffie-Buttons-Huckabee.....or simply Muffin...Muffin-Man. : )

loading ... Well gals and guys....I bet you noticed the holidays are a-coming! I love Christmas, but try to keep it simple but fun, fanciful but not too complicated. Just normal. Sweet Christmas. It's a difficult balance isn't it?

Sometimes people look for nice little gifts for hostesses or neighbors etc. Or perhaps just having a gift on hand for a "just in case"?

One thing we like to give is a jar candle.

Hobby Lobby has them on sale for 50% off this week. They do that every few weeks or so, just check their online ads, you'll see them there.

The great thing about these candles is they really do smell good; they are not for the weak at smell. ; ) These are potent candles, much like more expensive brands. We really like the "Cinnamon-Spice" and the "Sugared Spruce". You can pick these nice jar candles for around $5-$6.00 half price! These are large candles too! The wicks are lead free as well in most cases. This is a great deal and a sweet gift too, for you to treat yourself to or for a wonderful gift.

We recently had our state representative's wife come and speak to Marianna's Bible study & homemaking group of girls. We presented her with the "Cinnamon-Spice" candle in a simple brown gift bag with raffia tied on top. It made a very nice "Thank-You" gift and she liked it very much too. : )

Another thing that Hobby Lobby offers is the unfinished wood boxes and little drawer sets...These are so cute to paint and give too. One year we were on an extremely limited budget. I am married to a George Bailey in our little town...We like it like that, we would rather deal with sweet down to earth people, the sweet humility of normal folks instead of being a nervous wreck dealing with folks who are not on our page if you know what I mean...Remember, it was the Shepherds who saw the Star of Bethlehem Right? Right! You bethcha.... Peace, happiness, joy? Jesus. We are blessed, may we be like the Shepherds keeping our eyes on the Lord in humility, still enough to seek His face.

But to make a long story short, hubs is a Real Estate broker, we own our own business in an old town. So being in that occupation, and a business owner means commission only plus paying the bills. Enough said. You can imagine what I go through with a Christmas budget. I never know what it's going to be til sometimes December.

Anyhow...Back to my story. Several years ago it was a mighty lean year. My youngest daughter just loved American Girl dolls and would buy them with her own money pet-sitting...She was and is a major photographer these days and started with her dolls doing amazing stop motions that year. What's a mommy to do? I found a little unfinished wood drawer set (a large jewelry box?) it was around 12 inches high or so.... at Hobby Lobby on sale half price, and I gave it to her unfinished mind you. She is a little artist like her mommy ; ) and I figured she could paint it herself to her own whim. It was perfect for the American Girl doll clothes and little fancies. I even tucked a tiny little gift in each drawer. I had found a teensy miniature kewpie-doll in the doll accessory section at Hobby Lobby, her big sister found a little sleigh pin at the resale shop and a tiny little Seven Dwarf was cute and sweet and she enjoyed it as one of her gifts. I felt like my little girl was getting one more decent gift from her mommy & daddy within our budget. She later painted the drawer set herself with white paint and trimmed in red flowers. The price? I think it was around $6.00 on sale and really made a much needed additional gift to my little girl.

If you have a tiny little girl who likes the look of American Girl dolls but they are simply not in your budget? Michael's Craft stores have some that look very similar. They also offer clothing and accessories too, AND if you have a Michael's coupon you can really do good on those. I think Hobby Lobby has look-alikes and Dollar General many times has some very sweet 18 inch dolls at times. Do I have any other Dollar General fans out there? I just love those stores...They are like an old fashioned five and dime store. (Check the link out, it is a hoot and a half!)

Well how was that for Coffee with Amelia? ; ) Yack, yack, yack right? *chuckle*

Show N' Tell

Last but not least, I have one more very practical gift idea that can be kept on hand to give others or use yourself! I don't think this will go to waste.

I presented this for a hostess gift once in a mason jar with raffia around the top tied with directions for use.

What is it you say? For Pete's sake let me tell you...

It is a Cream of Soup mix I found in my old Miserly Moms book.

This is GREAT to have on hand for yourself too! I have a big mason jar with this mix with the recipe pasted right to the front of it. When I'm cooking in the evening and I see I'm out of a cream soup? I go to my jar. It works!

This makes a great little practical gift.

I will share my recipe with you here:

~Instant Cream of Soup Mix

2 cups instant milk
3/4 cups cornstarch
1/4 c. instant chicken bouillon ( I suggest low sodium?)
1 tsp. onion powder
1/2 tsp. dried thyme
1/2 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. pepper

You can use this for any recipe calling for a can of cream of mushroom, chicken or celery soup replaced with 1/3 cup of mix and 1 - 1/4 cup of water.

Boil for a few minutes, stirring often.

Enjoy! AND you do not have to have a mason jar to give this in....a plastic baggy with a simple bow or curly ribbon on top will do just fine. You can get simple plastic bags with wire ties at the dollar stores or at Dollar Generals in the house-ware section.

Enjoy your families. Remember, K.I.S.S. Keep it simple Sweeties! (That goes for me too, I am so trying!) : )

Love to all in Christ, prayers we will all have a Peace-filled holiday & Christmas season.

If you like you may want to check out my Vision for a Godly Home blog for some serious thoughts on our words and what is truly important in life. Remember, being a stay at home, wife or mom...or grand-mommy....That is the best. A very high calling! Don't buy the lie of present society.


P.S. Please feel free to share your good & neat gift suggestions here, we can all learn from one another. Pour yourself some coffee, enjoy and feel free to share too. : )

This entry is also linked at LifeAsMom.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lea Saves Supper & My Show N' Tell of New Shoes!

This is a great recipe our oldest daughter ....

(Photo by our youngest daughter Rebecca)

...Made for us the other night. It was delicious, and a bit different too. The sauce is more of a light sauce with chicken broth and fresh tomatoes. Wonderful! Bella!

I welcomed the light sauce, if it's not my Grandma's recipe it's not pasta gravy so the light done right is music to my tastebuds. Yes indeedie as we say in the South.

Lea really does her research, this recipe is from October '08 issue of Southern Living.

Cheese Ravioli With Spicy Tomato Sauce
Lea omitted the crushed red pepper.

I hope you enjoy the unique and different ingredient for the raviolis.... Why they are done in won ton wrappers! Imagine that! : )

Show N' Tell

You know me, I like Show N' Tell, so this is my Show N' Tell this week for you ladies...

Have you been looking for a low heel feminine shoe? With a bit of a heel, neat 1930s look? And comfortable too? I think I found a really nice shoe and boy am I glad. I wore these in the black out with hubby for date-night with no hosiery and I could not believe my feet survived.

If you know me very well, not many do. But if you know me well, very well. You would know it is normal for me to dance, waltzing and twirling, spinning in my ballet moves from years past out of a department store as my husband picks me up at the door in the car in the night hours, moon overhead... Yes I do things like that. : ) These shoes are waltz-worthy I do believe. They remind me of Capezio dance shoes.

Click to view or edit item details.
The pretty little heel is 1 1/4 " high, that is as high as I go these days. I had a back injury last December and one good thing about it is that I have cleared most all of my higher shoes. I have found that the lower shaped heels and ballerina flats are just as pretty and make me feel so feminine. And just for the record, I am a youthful 49. I'm certainly no fuddy-duddy but I also like sweet-feminine-pretty. I enjoy celebrating my femininity! : )

I can now relate to a sweet young Doctor of Math who was courting my oldest daughter several years ago. (No, it didn't work out for them but he was a nice guy anyhow) ; )

We can learn from others right?

One lesson I learned from this precious young man was that he hated to see women in high heels. He was convinced some female-hating designer came up with high heels.

He and I were confidants' of sorts, and he was so cute, he would tell me:

Mrs. Italiana, I don't understand why women want to wear high heels! Women have such pretty feet and when they put those things on, their feet are up like this!

(He would then put his hand, wrist up at a high angle finger tips pointed down on the table and would make his hand hop around like a vertical geisha girl foot) *chuckle*

Ya know? He was right.

Professor "C", you were right dear one. Yes, I learn from others, some times a day late and a dollar short but I learn.

And ya know? I'm so glad to see my daughters have sense on this issue. : ) Women's feet really do look so much prettier and dainty in a lower or flat pretty shoe.

I found the above pretty shoes at They are called "Fran". If you sign up for the Coward Shoe emails you will eventually notice they sometimes offer free shipping plus sale offers, and that is a Godsend. Another company that has old fashioned pretty retro shoes if you look carefully is Amerimark. I also have the black patent "Ann". I haven't worn them yet, but they are awesome, retro plus. : ) Love this style of shoe with the long ankle length skirts and tights for a unique look of Victoriana. Their shipping is reasonable. Their clearances are really a bargain if you wait for a free shipping day. (Sign up for their emails).

Have a good and Godly week! Be nice to others, let's keep a clean heart no matter what others may spitefully or deceitfully do. We don't have to be push-overs and I know it's hard sometimes, trust me.... I do believe I've seen it all lately, but what a sweet release when we can keep our eyes on our Father and let Him take care of it as we keep our dignity and place in the Lord.


P.S. On a more serious note and offering some new blog entries, may I suggest my other page, Vision For a Godly May our very lives be a Peaceful Protest.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Crispy Fish & Paint Chips

Hello All,

It's been a while since I've updated, we are simply on overload these days building our home in the country.

I thought about you all the other night when our oldest 27 year old daughter Lea...

...made the following wonderful fish recipe for supper:

Crispy Fish

Lea: Here's the recipe! Modifications: made less breading than it called for to scale, coated with egg, double breaded, and sprayed top with canola oil/vegetable oil spray & oven fried in olive oil @ 400.

You will notice the recipe has potato flakes to bread the fish, this makes it scrumptious. My father used to use potato flakes to bread shrimp in his restaurant, crowds from over an hour away would frequent my parent's restaurant. ...And that's another blog... ; ) (It was once written in a major newspaper that the eclectic establishment should have been put under glass and into the Smithsonian)

EDIT 5.19.11 I shared this recipe today on Life With Mom on the fantastic Fish Recipe Swap!

Take care now, and please say a prayer, we are definitely lighting the candle at both ends these days with the construction of our home. I have not even checked my dashboard as of late. I know I'm missing some wowee blogs....and I hate that. I'll be back in swing when things normalize a bit. Normalize? *chuckle*

As our dear vet says:

"Y'all should do a show, it would be better than anything on T.V."

On certain days I think he may be right!

You would probably be quite amused indeed... Hubs, Four daughters, four doglets, kitty, and I and all the little details of life. Life is an adventure, sometimes quiet and sometimes loud. Sometimes perplexing, but always knowing we can trust the Father. He is cool like that. He loves me and He loves you.

I say, live out loud whether quiet or loud. Be you.

God loves YOU. He created you to be who you are. Enjoy that and celebrate it in Him. Let's be found blameless.

Please know I'm doing okay in the midst of paint samples, sheetrock dust, and what seems at times to be a big-fat mess! Not to mention Hubs and I, toe to toe with the salesman at the home improvement store as we dare buy the cheaper no-commission unfinished cabinets. ; ) Actually it looks as though we have made a new friend in him and I think that is great. Yes indeedie.

May God be glorified. Christ's Love to all, ~Amelia

P.S. You may also enjoy 'Just Give Me Jesus' and an old 50s Billy Graham sermon just as relevant for today at my other blog,

Just give me Jesus...

Friday, July 23, 2010

1980 Our Wedding & Italian Wedding Ring Cookie Recipe

We celebrated our 30 year wedding anniversary recently. Here are a couple of photos from the event 30 years ago. I often joke that the entire Italian populace of the city was at the wedding, after all, I'm related to one half of the Italian population in the city and Hubs is related to the other half! : )

This was a time and place when we attended a liturgical church, much tradition and a beautiful place indeed.

That was then, this is now. : ) Voila!

Today we have four daughters ages 27 to 16. We have homeschooled now going into our 21st year. God is good.

Thumbprints of our four precious daughters...
My Photo

Did I ever tell you about the day my Aunt Margaret called my Grandma? My mother relays that the beige phone rings there in my Grandma's simple house...ring-a-ding-a-ding-a...ring-a-ding-a-ding-a....

My Grandma: Hello (New Orleans accent mixed with Southern Bellishness)

Aunt Margaret: Oh Josie, my heart is heart is black...

Grandma: What's-a-matter Margaret?

Aunt Margaret: It's Michael...He's leaving the priesthood....My heart is black...

You all can imagine how the conversation went...Like something from a movie. Poor, poor Aunt Margaret. Michael was one of she and Uncle Johnny's sons. He was leaving the priesthood to marry a nun he had met realizing God's plan. Before you get any ideas and start imagining things, ; ) please know he left with honor and the marriage was with honor. He is a wonderful and warm speaker these days and professional counselor...Neat man.

My Aunt Margaret was my Grandpa's sister, and she was a sweetheart. She and Uncle Johnny had a great little grocery store, now a yuppie grocery and delicatessen in a museum district. My Grandpa was a sweetie as well, a quiet soul, once an opera singer in New York as a young man. Do you know how my grandpa was discovered? As a very young man, he was hanging his clothes to dry on the clothes line outside of the building window there in New York, singing up a storm and a lady from the opera house heard him singing! That started his career singing in opera houses in New York as a young man. His mother later came here from Italy and called him to her new resident in another state and bless his heart, his singing career was put on hold indefinitely. He later did what he also loved...he became a professional fisherman and shrimper on the waterfront... Every now and then my precious shy grandpa would belt a song out, and it was glorious indeed. The Great Caruso on the Bay! (He and Mario Lanzo really did resemble each other as younger men) Yes indeed, just ask my mom.

When I think of my Italian heritage I sometimes think of the elaborate wedding showers the Italian women would give. One of the offerings they would delicately and artfully make with their loving hands were Italian Wedding Ring Cookies. I remember these type of cookies for the first time as a very, very little girl standing around a table adorned with a lovely lace tablecloth in the night hour at a most elegant but homey shower, these little cookies were the most beautiful pastel colors imaginable...I remember looking up at the young ladies standing around the table in their 60s dresses, high heel pumps and flip hair dos. What a classic memory. It is something that should be in a book or magazine.

You know what I keep on my formal table? My grandma's lace tablecloth she never used, poor Grandma, she saved everything for one day when she would have what she called a pretty house. I use that tablecloth now, and it is a sweet and precious daily reminder of my grandma.

I bring to you today a wedding cookie recipe from my mother in law's files:

Italian Wedding Ring Cookies

1 cup shortening
3 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. vanilla
7 cups flour
4 eggs
1 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Beat eggs and vanilla together. Cut flour, shortening and sugar together as you do pie crust, then add to egg mixture. Let rest 1 hour. Roll dough to shape of pencil, shape into small wedding rings by twisting around your little finger and cut. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes or until lightly browned. When done, drop into icing to coat and then put on wax paper to dry.

1 box powdered sugar
1/4 milk
1 to 2 drops food coloring
lemon juice, if desired

Mix sugar with milk to form a medium consistency to coat cookies. Add small amount of food coloring. We always use assorted colors -blue, pink, yellow and green.

These cookies are "little pretties" for the table...It's not a real Italian Wedding Shower without them! : )

I hope you all are having a sweet week in Christ. It's all about Christ and Christ alone. It's a personal relationship with Christ that counts, not head knowledge. May we be Jesus with skin on to others. : ) Please feel free to visit my Vision For a Godly Home.blogspot for recent must-hear messages such as "What Love is This?" by Dave Hunt

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Reminiscing Through Recipes

loading ... Hello everyone, I've been awol...I know. We are building a home in the country to move to. Yes, I can hear those birds sing now....We won't talk much about the six foot snake I almost stepped on. (I did a left-face that would have made even Gomer Pyle envious.) I have named the fella, Humphrey. Humphrey is not poisonous so we let him slither on over to the next partial of land...We are contracting this home ourselves, my hub just loves doing this type of thing so it keeps us quite busy.

This evening our four daughters and I did Father's Day with hubby after a light day of just fun shopping, a venue at Home Goods for a few practicals including one impractical....a whimsical serving bowl with a pretty color design and a bird painted in it...the girls just loved it, it was on clearance, a small price to pay to bring such smiles to the girls' faces and some newness for our diner table. : ) Our trek also included a stop at World Mart looking for a cute comfy chair for dd24 for her upcoming room in our new house in the country. It was fun, just getting out a bit, I did find two rather comfortable pair of sandals as well at Ross...yay for comfort. I had gone into Ross because you see I have been reading "Sidetracked Home Executives" and I'm on my way to de-cluttering and getting on the ball with some things.

The book, "Sidetracked Home Executives" is hilarious by the way! I bought a used older 1981 version after reading the reviews that the only difference in the newer version is they mention the card system on computer as well as card box. Phooey with that, I'll keep my card system...The book is so funny and I can relate to a lot of it...I literally LOL'd. So. To make a long story short, I de-cluttered a black patent clutch bag from the 80s, and then retrieved it back again out of my huge garbage bag full of purses not being used and awaiting the Purple Heart truck picker uppers. Why you may ask? You see my normal more up to date (resale shop find) black patent clutch that is an almost constant companion on date night with with the long strap has broketh....The cost of a new bag is expensive so I told my dd24 that I would de-clutter permanently the 80s bag but only when I have replaced it with a reasonable black patent one. I am shocked to see prices of $25. and more for a little black bag for Pete's sake. So if you haven't already guessed, that 80s black patent bag will keep it's place for now on my closet shelf in case of a dressy occasion.

Speaking of the card system...When we got back in from our fun spree, we were wondering what dessert would dd27 make for DH for our little Father's Day meal? I found my handy dandy card file from years ago....Years ago. Actually it was stuck on the 7th day of May 21 years ago, the time my sweet step daddy passed away. Yes, it was a major disruption and huge heartbreak in life. I miss him greatly. He was a talented sculptor with humility and mercy plus. A poor artist but rich in character, an Italian from the Bronx. I loved him and so did my girls...That will be another blog. : ) He was awarded the Purple Heart and sculpted Dr. Denton Cooley's family monument, a modern human heart, the same one but smaller scale of the large one in front of the Medical Center. As I write this, I suddenly see how ironic it poor stepdad suddenly died of a heart attack...he barely made it onto the stretcher and to the hospital. My mother remembers seeing his head slowly turn to the side under the hospital marquee lights as he lay on the stretcher under those bright lights. My mother went home alone in a taxi with his clothes draped over her arms...

But today is Father's day for my hubs...A great guy...A godly guy. Neither of us are perfect and we don't always see eye to eye on every little thing but when it comes down to it....We are most times like Scout and Jem in To Kill a Mockingbird...And of course we pray together and have some great date nights and can still make each other laugh as well. : ) He is my protector and encourager. In fact, speaking of the sidetracked home executives? One day last year I was in tears at the state of affairs in our room, it was a mess to behold in the way of laundry baskets and I was feeling a bit overwhelmed. It was one of those days. I remember looking down at his loafers as he stood by me as I sat crying and he just simply matter of factly and kindly said..."Don't worry it will get done..." His home had a part time maid and nanny....manicures and all that goes with that. I don't do manicures and I've always enjoyed raising our own children, it's a blessing and privilege. : ) And that meant going without a car for a time, nothing was worth taking me away from our children. It's a privilege to help make our home a place of stability and peace, family dinner on the table for us to enjoy and look forward to in the evenings is one of our favorite times! I'm so thankful Hubs has been a good father and husband as well as a godly support to me. It means a great deal to me that he appreciates these sweet things and is a down to earth guy, he appreciates my creative side and I, his. It definitely helps keep things in proper perspective.

Okay, back to that desert.

I was looking through my card file for a peach cobbler recipe my old friend Kathy had given me years ago, I'll be a monkey's uncle if I could not find it. I did find my old friend, Teresa's roll recipe which we put to work for us tonight...I also found Barbara Bush's chocolate chip cookie recipe too! Those are good!

But no peach cobbler recipe....Phooey.

Then it donned on me. Aha! My old friend Sandra, the friend that had 5 boys....yes. I had her Swedish Pineapple cake recipe passed down through her family!

I found it feebly written on an old envelope sharing it's place of honor with an old 20 year old grocery list of "stamps, ear drops, baby-tylenol, cotton balls..." along with purple crayon writing that said "Call Laura at home"...It was crudely punched in my Betty Crocker cookbook halfhazardly on one of the rings...Is that not a hoot? But ya know? At least I knew exactly where to find it! it is right next to the piece of paper also hastily punched in that book with my MIL's chicken & rice recipe....yes indeedie I say. (At least I know where they are at!) ; )

Thought I'd share the recipe with you all. You may want to make one of these for your Father's Day celebration!

loading ...

Sandra's Family Swedish Pineapple Cake Recipe

Mixing by hand:

2 c. sugar (dd27 used half)
20 oz. can crushed pineapple
1 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. vanilla
2 c. flour
1/2 c. nuts

Ungreased 13 x 9 pan.

350 degree 30 minutes

1 8oz. cream cheese
1 stick butter melted
3/4 c. sugar melted
1/2 c. nuts if desired

Pour icing mixture on cake in pan after cake is baked (we cooled it a bit first)

I'm not sure what happened to Sandra...She was part of a core of women from the church we attended years ago, we would share maternity clothes, give each other intimate little baby showers in our living rooms and it was a real sweet time. Yes, a real sweet time.

Mom's needing encouragement? Please feel free to visit my other blog too: Vision For a Godly Home

Hope everyone is having a good and godly weekend! If I seem to be awol say a prayer that everything is going smoothly. : )

Blessings to all! And to all a good night! ~Amelia

Friday, May 28, 2010

Three Patriotic Movie Greats Honoring Our Vets

Wowee movies we saw today...Amazing. Inspiring. True stories....Movies of Excellence. The Best.

God is My Co-Pilot
The trailer doesn't touch the virtue, poignancy and excitement of this movie but thought you might like to see it. A true story as you will see.

Talked with my 80 year old dad today, he saw this when he was young and remembered it.

Another movie great, one of my all time faves, we are talking wowza. The true story of the famous Doolittle Raids. Stars galore.
Thirty Seconds Over Tokyo. (1944)

I found the book written by one of the pilots who lost his leg played by Van Johnson in an antique store, the letters of missionaries are in the book who had ministered to him when he underwent the horrible tragedy. Amazing.

And guess what friends, it is showing in all parts on youtube at present.
Here is Part I to get you started:

One more, this is pure greatness. Christ glorifying.
Sergeant York (1941)

Another true story of one of our marvelous brave vets.

Familiarize your children and youth with these heroes, these are the real deals. Sergeant York's conversion to Christ is amazing...It's all here in the movie. A Farm boy turn hero. His simple life is beautiful. You may notice the clips on youtube of the real Sergeant York. Very interesting history.

Any of you who remotely know me at all, will know I absolutely must post this pic of my mom and dad in honor of our vets, my dad and mom are now 80 years old. My dad would want to tell all of you to please honor our fallen vets who gave their all. My dad is of German background, my mother, Italian.

It was amazing hearing Glenn Beck yesterday speak of how the Italians, Germans and Japanese who were American citizens were treated during WWII. I've heard the stories before but it never ceases to shock me what happened and could happen.

My dad tells me just today of my Italian grandpa being fired from the shipyard during WWII. My dad tells me you could have never found a better American than my precious Italian grandfather.
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May we honor what is truly honorable once again in this country. May those of us who know what is right and good with a healthy fear and love of God band together and pray lifting our great country up in prayers. May we live it in our homes first and foremost. Some may say we will never be Ozzie and Harriet again, no that is not true. As for me and my home we will serve the Lord, we will be that family with old fashioned values keeping Christ first. Please don't buy into the culture.


P.S. If you are a stay at home mom needing encouragement, take a listen here. Enjoy. Be blessed.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Must See Video Footage

This is something to see, it's on the Tennessee flood. The video speaks for itself. Let's pray for these people, if you've ever been flooded you know the agony and emotional trauma.

Our home was flooded more than once, I remember vividly boating out with my baby in my arms, three little girls and Hubs as he tried to guide the leaky little boat, trying so very, very hard to reflect on our God as I tried to admire the reflection of the huge country oak trees in the water.

I remember laying across my bed in black rubber boots as the muddy water swirled around the dust ruffle of my bed and noticing a white paper square floating in the dirty water, I picked it up. It was my baby's ultrasound photo. ....I remember well.

For direct link to see: full screen

Thursday, May 20, 2010

With Love from Italy & Mr. Smith


I thought perhaps you all might truly enjoy my Italian Green Bean recipe. Around this part of the country, the Italian ladies would make this for many Sunday dinners, gatherings, etc.

It's easy to do and not exactly an heirloom recipe so I feel free to give it out here, hope you enjoy it. My Aunt Margaret and my grandma had a way of making dishes extra wonderful. Aunt Margaret was my grandpa's sweet sister by the way.

The secret ingredient my grandma and Aunt Margaret used? Cheese. Not mozzarella cheese mind you. My family was never big on mozzarella. One of my funniest memories was my quiet little Italian grandpa at a pizza restaurant laughing and laughing as he stretched the mozzarella cheese a foot up in the air and calling it "rubber" laughing all the while. It was a hilarious sight I must say ; ) Romano and Parmesan, the hard cheeses were the prize ingredients in our family and of course the Ricotta that Cousin Phillip made. ; )

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Italian Green Beans

Either use cooked fresh green beans or plain frozen green beans running hot water over the frozen til thawed.
Place green beans in casserole dish and toss with olive oil. Sprinkle with garlic powder, romano or parmesan cheese and bread crumbs. Toss well. Bake at around 400 turning every now and then until evenly browned.

Make it with love and care that's the important part. Enjoy the good eats and feel the love. : )

I brought this to Ms. Helen's Country Cottage Full Plate Thursday. What a nice gathering!

At present I'm watching Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939)
I hope you will enjoy this trailer...

A movie GREAT by Frank Capra.

Capra films usually carry a definite message about the basic goodness of human nature and show the value of unselfishness and hard work. His wholesome, feel-good themes have led some to term his style Capra-corn
, but those who hold his vision in high regard prefer the term 'Capraesque'.

Frank Capra was from the same town, Bisacquino, where my grandfather immigrated from in 1915, he and Capra actually resembled each other. Frank Capra remained a conservative Republican throughout his life.

If it's one thing that makes me sad...It's when people give me a half smile when they hear of old movie favorites as if they are thinking the old classics to be saccharin. Dear me. Oh that our world would BE what they might foolishly consider saccharin.

I hope you all are having a luverly week. Yes indeedie...

*Live* *Love* *Laugh* *Pray Hard*

Let's hold our country up in prayers. Let's be a "Mr. Smith" ~Amelia

Freel free to check in on my Vision For a Godly Home for an awfully sweet retro video by Red Skelton, a sweet wake up call.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Totally from the Heart, "Unperfectionized" in the Words of my Daughter, Marianna.

Scout, Dill and Jem from To Kill a Mocking Bird as they peer into the courtroom, their father, Atticus played by Gregory Peck is the ultimate gentleman and walking lesson in humility as well as the defendant, Tom Robinson.

I was in the mood to blog...My mother is here today but is napping, so I thought I'd squeeze a blog in.

Last night it was just hubby and I, our four daughters had scooted out to a Bible Study so it was one of those oh my. It's just hubby and I, what am I going to fix for sup?

By the way, I'm listening to the theme to To Kill a MockingBird and the song, Boo Who is playing, oh it's so very beautiful, so sentimental. If you know me, it's just me. It just screams life at me...past, present, future... I'm remembering my dad when he was young and how I worry about him now. He and mother are 80 years old but my father lives three hours away. I'm an only child. Enough said?

Life travels before us...My daughters who I thought would forever be young and climbing trees, playing with baby dolls are now old enough to be moms with babes of their own, my baby, Rebecca is 16 and has established with the good Lord's help that photography will very well be her vocation these days...She's my artsy one.

~Self Portrait by Rebecca

The one with the blue green eyes and light hair, the sensitive one who tries to hide it. Once when my dad was visiting years ago, his pipe ashes had dropped on our new carpet. He had no idea. After he had left we found little burn holes in our carpet. I never mentioned it to my dad....No. It wouldn't have done anything but harm. But my little one, Rebecca...She was so sweet, she said in her little voice...

"It's okay Mommy, Grandpa didn't mean anything...he didn't mean anything..."

Now she is more of a quiet gal, very contemplative but when we have buddy time she talks and shares her heart and I enjoy that very much. Her quiet waters run deeply, and the sensitivity is there but under wraps these days as she tries to retain her young lady dignity and I see her blossom with her own unique style and such...It seems not long ago she cried real tears as she held one of our dogs, Charlie at the pound, tears running down her cheeks as she said she loved him. He had been the pet of the week, we had just lost one of our sweet dogs and the newspaper photo of Charlie so resembled her. I remember my husband's loafers there as I sat down squatting next to her and our Charlie... Rebecca was to buy Charlie with her birthday money in a tattered birthday card envelope she had brought to the pound. Charlie lives here now along with our other three doglets. Two others were literally rescued from the streets. They are truly our fur angels and I do not believe God takes it lightly how we treat animals. The older I become the more in tune I am with that.

"Charlie" taken by ~Rebecca

Last night it was just hubby and I as I was saying...the girls had stepped out to a young people's Bible study in the metro.

Hubs offered to pick something frozen at the wholesale club but ya know...I had frozen chicken breasts in the freezer, much simpler I say. We didn't want to go out because tonight hubs and I will go out while Mother is here. Mother loves to cook up something for she and the girls and then she and our girls watch an old movie... Fun times. Hubs and I step out for a date of sorts.

I threw together a nice little recipe...Oh and by the way, do you know what I call hubby and I? I call us Jem and Scout from To Kill a Mockingbird, and sometimes when he is "misbehaving" ; ) I call him Dill. I'm not near as tom-boyish as Scout but when we visit the countryside an entire other side of me comes out...It's the side that will even spit into the trees. Yes! I do that, (when no one is looking of course). I have to laugh to myself when I do that, Most people would never imagine...never.

Okay, back to my recipe. This was quick and easy and I did not take a pic. So imagine away...


I just took two frozen chicken breasts out. Frozen still....I put dijon mustard on them and drizzled with honey. I then sprinkled liberally with garlic powder, parsley and basil flakes and put them in the oven at 400...Oh for about 20 minutes....Then I flipped them over and put the same ingredients on the other side plus added water to make it's own glaze so to speak. After that side was done a bit, I sliced them butterflied thinly and let them finish up in that wonderful sauce it created for itself. It was delicious. So in a little over 40 minutes I had a luscious dinner.

I served it with brown rice and pea salad. My pea salad? I put vinegar and oil along with salt, pepper, and garlic powder and refrigerate. I used canned peas. I don't use canned veggies very often but this is the way it was fixed when I grew up. My entire family loves it...You can make this with fresh green beans too. It's wonderful on a warm day.

That's the rambles and thoughts from me this week at least for now... Speaking above of To Kill a Mockingbird, I wrote an entry on my other blogspot, Vision for a Godly Home, entitled What Character do We Play?

Also I've just recently posted a precious, precious Red Skelton video on The Pledge of Allegiance, it will bless your heart,it's there on Vision for a Godly Home as well.

Let's remember, life is whirring faster and faster, it's like a roller coaster. What will we write in our journal of life today? What character do we play?

Take care, let's look to the Lord, He is our Hope. ~Amelia

Monday, May 3, 2010

Hi-De-Ho, A New Recipe and Fun Napkins for You to Make!

Hi-De-Ho and away we go...

The other night I was getting ready to make a recipe for supper, you know the famous question..."What would you all like for supper?" For our family, supper time is a special time, nothing fancy but we do look forward to it. It's a time of gathering together and just enjoying good food and conversation.

Well to make a long story short I had my eyes in my Betty Crocker's cookbook I've had since I first married in 1980. My eyes fell upon this recipe I've never tried. And ya know? It was so the Lord....I had everything on hand, and it turned out very nicely! It was a very pretty dish as well and I think it will be nice for company. A tried & true type of recipe that should suit most tastebuds.

Here it is, and a picture to boot.

Chicken-Broccoli Bake

(The broccoli was brighter, and it had a pretty glaze)

2 T butter

2 T oil, I used olive oil

6 small chicken breasts (about 2 pounds) I used 4 huge breasts, boneless, skinless, and sliced thinly.

1/2 tsp. garlic salt, I used garlic powder and my own salt

1 can (10 3/4 o) condensed cream of chicken soup, I use healthy request.

1 can (4 oz.) mushroom stems and pieces

1/4 c. water

1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce

1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves

2 packages (10 oz. each) frozen broccoli spears. (I used florets, half a huge economy bag)

1/2 tsp. salt

Heat butter and oil in oblong baking dish, 13 x 9 or larger in my case, In 400 degree oven til melted. Place chicken in dish, turning to coat with margarine mixture. Arrange chicken skin sides up; sprinkle with garlic salt. Cook uncovered 30 minutes.

Mix soup, mushrooms (with liquid), water, Worcestershire sauce and thyme. Rinse broccoli under running cold water to separate; drain. Remove chicken from oven; drain fat if needed. Arrange broccoli along sides of chicken; sprinkle with salt. Spoon soup mixture over broccoli.

Cook uncovered until chicken is done and broccoli is tender, about 30 minutes. Garnish with paprika and ripe olives if desired. 6 servings

Dd24, Marianna made roasted potatoes drizzled with olive oil with fresh rosemary, fennel, oregano and some lavender sage from her herb garden. : )

My little napkin project. Fun & Easy.

This is some Mary Enghelbreit fabric my daughter found on clearance. It's black with tiny little red cherries & white dots on it. I cut sqares I had left over from a skirt I had made. I made most of my squares around 10 inches, some are not perfectly this size, I just did what I could. I didn't hem the edges, I just zig-zagged the edges on my handy dandy Brothers machine. A couple of years ago, I bought the least expensive (at the time) Brothers model from Walmart and am so satisfied with my little machine. It's the blue & white model.

Edit 11.5.10 I have also recently purchased the pink & white Brothers machine so our daughters would have a machine so we can have fun sewing at the same time. I am very satisfied with that particular Brothers machine as well. You can't beat the reasonable price online at Walmart.

Another thing I've found that works well for our cloth napkins is when I find the cute handkerchiefs from Hobby Lobby? I cut those in fourths, and do the same with them. And I have 4 new napkins per handkerchief. It's fun, it's easy and I can afford to pick cute patterns. It doesn't have to be matchy-matchy poo-poo.

Here is what I did with my napkins so my family can grab a napkin easily:

Sweetness. Comforting, Cozy, Cotton Cloth Napkins

Special thanks and appreciation to my dear friend, Adam, a sweet Christian young man. He graciously gave me the "Beautiful Blogger" award. Y'all go say hello to Adam, he's a nice Christian fella. One thing I especially appreciate about Adam and his sister, they are very kind and considerate to me, leaving comments from time to time as they see fit even though I'm old enough to be their mama. : )

For thoughts on appreciation, respect and good manners feel free to stop by my visionforaGodlyhome.blogspot

Have a sweet rest of the week folks!

This post is also linked to Life as Mom for more money saving tips and encouragments. : )

Friday, April 23, 2010

Change Begins at the Dinner Table

All great change in America begins at the dinner table.
~Ronald Reagan

Three of our four daughters. The pics speak for themselves.... A fun patriotic family evening...

Each generation goes further than the generation preceding it because it stands on the shoulders of that generation. You will have opportunities beyond anything we've ever known.

~Ronald Reagan

Little Projects Anyone?

Projects anyone? I call them little "doodle dandies". I call a lot of things little "doodle dandies". ; )

Do you ever wonder what to do with those little mint tins? Those little doodle dandies? I like little craft projects, I'm an "art" person, an HSP, highly sensitive person, yes that's me... I usually color outside the box in various ways if you will.... Even in highschool, I would turn out several fashion illustrations a week, and they would usually be displayed in the showcase at school along with a portrait every now and then.... My media? For the fashion illustrations I used pastels, colored pencils, a Bic black ball point stick pen, and a child's watercolor paint set, those little dime store ones. Yes indeed. For my portraits, a number two pencil worked fine. If something works don't fix it, and don't complicate it. I was the girl who didn't buy many record albums, only the very special most favorite ones...the radio worked. : )

Here is one of my little projects I threw together, I just (try to) do and K.I.S.S. "Keep it simple sweetie" If we overcomplicate things it stresses us and we are not happy campers... Have you ever been around someone who complicates things unecessarily? They aren't much fun to be with are they? So I just try to have fun, and only detail things that are worthy of detailing in life... Keeps a smile on my face...And a smile on my family's face too. : )

Here is my tin I painted and mod podged, the little print on the front is of a painting of Udine, Italy. My grandma was from Naples, Italy and I'm thinking this scene looks similar to Naples. My grandpa was from Bisacquino, Sicily, Italy. The little pic is from the thumbnails on the back of my calendar from last year.

I first glued white paper on the top of the box, then the little pic. I painted over the white paper and sides with shades of white and green acrylics. I then brushed the modge podge on the painted part carefully around the pic... purposely leaving brush marks for that old world painted look. I gave this to my mom for an Easter gift, a little something. I like little somethings.... She uses it for her vitamins and cough drops etc. I think it would also be nice for little stevia packets too.

What's for dinner tonight at your house? Lea, my oldest cooked a Greek dinner last night and it was so much fun! She even made little name cards with her chosen Greek names for us!

I'm not sure what I'm making tonight yet... Yes, the dinner table is an important place to be for a family. : )

Have a nice rest of the week. K.I.S.S. (keep it simple sweetie) ~Amelia

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Oh Y'all! You Have to Hear This!

Oh y'all, you must hear this old fashioned radio program from 1943... This is a Kraft Music Hall Bing Crosby show, as a matter of fact it was done on December 30, 1943. My birthday is December 30, but 1960. ; )

But oh you must hear this sweet program...It is SO interesting. Songs about Americans being warned not to speak secrets of our country, war ration coupons etc. Women celebrating their femininity unabashedly. Just the unity and love for God and country. Oh I wish it were more like that once again in the way of respect and morality...So much more of a sweet spirit.

Hmm... 1943, my parents were 13 years old then... My dad was in a private military school in Biloxi Mississippi back then. My dad had lost his mother (who I was named after) when he was eleven, and in their family the best thing in their eyes was to send their son to this particular private military school. So my father went to this military school from around the age of eleven. I have a shoebox full of his letters home, the V for Victory stamp on each one. His brother, ten years his senior was a graduate of this very military school as well. You would not believe the sweet tidings I've read in my father's letters home. My dad tells me that when he was there, they used wooden "dummies" for guns because the real guns were being used at in WWII.

This radio program reminds me of what it must have been like in those times. A love for God and Country. A healthy fear of God. Loyalty to one's country.


Today I tried to go through my closet trying to remove some clothes I no longer use. Why is it when I read those articles on decluttering they make it sound so simple? If you don't wear something in two years blah-blah toss it.

Hmmmmm... Not so easy when you forgot about the item since you are so lazy as not to want to reach to the back of the closet and you now discover you really like this item....and re-discovering it is like a new clothing item! ; ) Not so easy when you're hubby is the "George Bailey" in the community....and you've learned to scrimp and not toss quite so easily as the working gal with the salaried hubby down the street.

Now I'm not complaining no siree bobbie. I love my home and my hubby for that matter and I think it's truly wonderful that he works in a less than wealthy part of town actually helping people buy and sell their homes and enjoys the sweet people greatly, but this gal has learned to be quite resourceful by George! I figure every dime or penny for that matter I save is added to my hubby's commission to support our family....So I've had the best time re-wardrobing etc. My latest project is cloth napkins. (pics to come) But to make a long story short, I did manage to give 9 items away today, the fit was just too far gone. And the other day I did get rid of over a dozen pair of shoes, some were too high, last December I suffered a pinched nerve in my back so I have to be much more careful in the height of heels. And I've learned no shiny black patent shoes are beautiful enough if they pinch my feet and make my feet feel like they are on fire! So they went out too.

Oh me oh my... the Joy of Life. : ) I grew up in a home where obviously my parents were raised during the Great Depression and my grandparents saved everything....and I mean everything.

Here is my hubby and I at his 35th high school reunion a year and a half ago, he is so funny...He was having such a fun time with his friends. That's yours truly next to him... Me. ; ) That's one of my favorite things to do, wear a turtleneck or some kind of knit top, belt it and pair it with a black skirt. No muss, no fuss just simple elegance.

I just felt like blogging this afternoon, some things really struck my heart today, just memories and so forth.

Here's a pic of my dear dad graduating military school as I had written about.

My dad when he was a little boy... so cute. A head full of curly blond hair...
College age...That's my dad!

You know what? I found a plaster ornament hiding in my closet today... I had wanted to paint it for my dad for Christmas, it's of an old retro Santa Claus in an airplane flying to deliver gifts, my dad once flew for a hobby....He was and is quite the practical joker, a salty writer too not to mention a hot shot flyer, bless his heart.

Do you know that once my dad wrote a Christmas card to our town pound on behalf of our dog, Minnie Pearl?

The news of the card from our most precious dog, Minnie Pearl made it to 60 Minutes on National TV!

The horrible and awful day Minnie Pearl died, she had been hit by a car. My poor dad ran out of his restaurant and sat in the street weeping, holding our precious dog as his friend, Harlan guided traffic around my poor dad...I told you today opened up so many memories...

Now he has the start of macular degeneration and is unable to fly at the age of 80. I'll have plenty of time to paint his ornament for next Christmas. : ) Praying for my dad's healing.

Hope you all are having a glorious week so far. Take care now, your fellow Soldier for Christ, and your fellow traveler in this crazy world we are in. We will look upon the hills from whence comes our help. The Lord. I'm doing fine, just a sentimental day with much to be grateful for. Amelia : )

I have some serious thoughts on, Roe vs. Wade and What has Happened to Us? March.10...VisionForaGodlyHome.Blogspot