Tuesday, July 10, 2012


As young girls we dream big dreams.  We dream of beautiful weddings.  We dream of being mommies and having husbands just like our daddies.  We dream of our very own Prince Charming.  As we get older and grow into young adults we dream of beautiful homes and fulfilling careers.  We think we can change the world!  Then reality comes pouring in.  Life never seems to reach our dreams and expectations.

Prince Charming isn't so charming or maybe you've never met your Prince.  Your children are rebellious and you often wonder if you are a good Mother.  Maybe you've lost children and grieve their death.  That career you worked so hard for crumbles as the economy declines.  You realize that you and you alone can never change the world.  We've all experienced a time when life doesn't measure up to our dreams.  

It's very easy to let shattered dreams make you bitter and some even sink into depression.  Many wonder what is the use in dreaming? Your heart may be broken and in a thousand pieces as you realize you're life isn't what you dreamed.  Without God in your life that is all you are...shattered broken pieces.  However, when you come to the Lord he can put all the pieces back together again molding you into a beautiful child of God.  

Psalms 34:18 "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart; and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit."  
Psalms 91:4 "He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler."

When we depend on God he can take our desires and give us more than we could have ever imagined.  He can give you Prince Charming.  He can change the heart of that rebellious child.  He can give you a beautiful home.  He can exceed our expectations.  He can use your life and testimony to change the world.  We can't make our own plans leaving God out and expect good things to happen.  Let God direct your life and everything will fall into place.  

Romans 8:28  "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose."

Monday, July 9, 2012

First Time Canning

Do you see this?  That is a lot of jars, isn't it?  If you are an avid canner then it probably isn't to you but to me it is.

Over the weekend our niece and her family came to visit.  With them they brought two full cases of tomatoes they had just picked from their garden.  I love tomatoes but my first question was "What am I supposed to do with that many tomatoes?  They'll ruin before we have a chance to eat them."  Well their answer to me was "Just put them up."

What?  Put them up?  What do you mean?  I am becoming Suzie Homemaker but I haven't ventured into the canning arena yet.  Mostly because I don't have a garden.  I don't see the point in buying vegetables to can unless you just find a really great deal.  My niece's husband started telling me how easy it was to can tomatoes, and assured me that I could do it.  I already had jars and lids.  So, why not?

Today I found all of my jars and sterilized them.  You are probably asking "Why do you have so many jars if you don't can?"  The answer is simple.  My mother-in-law, Lethia, was a gardener and canner.  She canned everything, and I mean everything.  I have catered weddings in the past and we always have food left over.  Many times the family doesn't want the left overs.  One wedding we had a lot of fruit left and Charlie took it to his Mother.  It was an entire pan of various fruits; cantaloupe, watermelon, star fruit, grapes, pineapple, strawberries, etc.  She took that fruit and made all-fruit jam.  It was the best I've ever had!  Before Lethia passed away in 2009 I would give her the jars back after we ate the food.  These are all the jars that we've emptied since she died.  I've never been able to bring myself to give them away so they've been in various places in my house.  Charlie even went to the storage building and brought back a couple of boxes I had stored there.  

Back to my story...Today I scoured the internet, looked through cookbooks and called different friends that have canned tomatoes.  I am a perfectionist and I didn't want to get it wrong.  As I was peeling the tomatoes my mind seemed to be flooded with memories.  As a little girl I helped my grandmother can fruits & vegetables.  Then as a young married lady I helped Lethia can too.  I've just never done it by myself.  

It was actually fun to me.  I couldn't wait to complete the process and hear the 'ping' of the lids.  I canned 4 quarts and 7 pints of tomatoes.  I still have about 1/2 case of tomatoes left and tomorrow I am going to attempt to make tomato juice.  I didn't think I'd be able to make tomato juice but tonight I borrowed a Food Mill/Strainer from a friend.  Tomato Juice was one of my husband's favorite things that his Mother made so I am determined to try my best!  I know this is a lot of empty jars but maybe just maybe another gardener will see fit to share their bounty and I can fill them up!  

I wish I had the things Lethia used to can; her pressure cooker, her food mill, her funnel, everything!  I am a very sentimental person and even the simplest of things are worth millions to me!  I don't know who ended up with Lethia's kitchen stuff but I know if it was me I'd be using them today.  Charlie came in the kitchen tonight and saw all the jars lined up on the counter and he said "My Mama & Daddy would be proud of you." They always wanted to make me a country girl.  I wonder if they know how much they taught me?  I hope so!


Win a Jo Totes Camera Bag

Check out Tater Tots & Jello for a give away!  The Jo Totes Camera Bags are beautiful and functional.  I tried to post pics here but for some reason Blogger won't let me.  You'll have to visit the link to see all the awesome pics!