Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Thanks Aimee!

While visiting one of the newest blogs on my Blog Roll, I came across the recipe for one of my favorite things to bake and serve; Amish Friendship Bread! It was a reminder that I hadn't made it in awhile. The reason being is that I never had gotten the starter recipe! Always when I'd made the bread before, I had been given starter from a friend. I have a bloggy friend who told me she had it posted on her food blog, but I never could remember to go retrieve it. So I was happy, happy, happy, to find it at  It's Overflowing. Blog owner Aimee had included the starter recipe! Yay!
You should go visit her blog by clicking the link above. You will find a pleasant visit there!

Amish Friendship Bread Cinnamon Loaf Recipe
Do not use any type of metal spoon or bowl for mixing.
Do not refrigerate.
Batter will rise, bubble, and ferment ... burp as needed.

Day 1 - receive the starter and do nothing
Day 2 - Mush the bag.
Day 3 - Mush the bag.
Day 4 - Mush the bag.
Day 5 - Mush the bag.
Day 6 - Add to the bag 1 cup each flour, sugar and milk. Mush the bag.
Day 7 - Mush the bag.
Day 8 - Mush the bag.
Day 9 - Mush the bag.
Day 10 - Follow these instructions:

1. Pour the entire contents of the bag into a non-metal bowl.
2. Add 1 1/2 cups flour, 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1 1/2 cups milk. Stir.
3. Measure one cup batter into four 1-gallon Ziploc bags {keep one bag and pass the three extras to friends along with a copy of the recipe.}
4. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
5. Add to the remaining batter:

3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 cup milk
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
2 cups flour
1 large box instant vanilla pudding (or any flavor)
1/2 tsp. salt

6. Pour mixture into a greased bundt pan and bake at 325 for 50 minutes or until toothpick comes out clean.


Other options:

  • Grease 2 large loaf pans. In a small bowl, mix together 1/2 cup sugar and 1 1/2 tsp. cinnamon. Dust the greased pans with 1/2 of this mixture. Pour the batter evenly into the 2 pans and sprinkle the remaining sugar mixture over the top. Bake 1 hour. Cool the bread until it loosens evenly from the pan (about 10 minutes). Serve warm or cold.
  • Add 1 cup of the following or a combination not to exceed 1 cup: raisins, nuts, chocolate chips, or butterscotch morsels.
  • You may also substitute the vanilla pudding with butterscotch.
And if you don't have an Amish Friendship Bread starter, you could always start one by following this recipe!

Amish Friendship Bread Starter
This is the Amish Friendship Bread Starter Recipe if you'd like to treat your family and spread the love to some friends! It is very important to use plastic or wooden utensils and plastic or glass containers when making this. Do not use metal.

1 pkg. active dry yeast
1/4 cup warm water (110°F)
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup white sugar
1 cup warm milk (110°F)

1. In a small bowl, dissolve the yeast in warm water for about 10 minutes. Stir well.
2. In a 2 quart glass or plastic container, combine 1 cup sifted flour and 1 cup sugar. Mix thoroughly or the flour will get lumpy when you add the milk.
3. Slowly stir in warm milk and dissolved yeast mixture. Loosely cover the mixture with a lid or plastic wrap. The mixture will get bubbly. Consider this Day 1 of the cycle, or the day you receive the starter.

For the next 10 days handle starter according to the instructions above for Amish Friendship Bread.

REMEMBER: Visit Aimee and thank her for posting this recipe and starter. If you've never made it, you MUST! I swear, it's the best thing since sliced bread and air conditioning!

Monday, February 13, 2012


Jesus loves you and you and you ... He laid down His life for you! Now that is true love!

Happy Valentine's Day Everyone! Tell your special someone just how much they are loved! And maybe even whisper some "sweet nothings" in their ear!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

My Little Kumquat!

I am a self-declared CITRUS FREAK!!! I LOVE ALL types of CITRUS!  AND... I love my cousin Ron and his wife Ellie!! Look what they brought us a couple of weeks ago when they came up to visit!
CITRUS, glorious CITRUS!!!
Who can name the various citrus fruit in the photo?
This photo was taken after we had eaten a week's worth
of citrussy goodness!
(Is "citrussy" a word? Spell check just said NO! Well, I don't care!)

The LEMONS were the juiciest I'd ever seen!
So I made some of THIS!
There is nothing like fresh, hand squeezed lemonade from lemons that came right out of your yard.
(Or in this case, right out of your cousin's yard!)
And Ellie, I did it the way you taught me!
Good thing I live in the sunshine state huh,
seeing my affection for citrus!

Some of the fruit in the top photo are KUMQUATS. They are cute, diminutive fruit with a cute name! Did you know we have a "kumquat festival "annually in a little town near us? You can read more about it here and see photos of art, and miscellaneous items.

Kumquats are either members of the citrus family, or they're not. While kumquats resemble miniature oranges, they are often classified in their own genus, Fortunella. However, many botanists classify kumquats as citrus fruits.
Kumquats are native to China, and their name comes from the Cantonese kam kwat, which means "golden orange." They are a symbol of prosperity and a traditional gift at Lunar New Year, which is why they are a common sight in Chinese households and shops this time of year.

They are so cute! but don't bite into one expecting delectable sweetness, like a perfect orange
 OH NO! You'll be rudely awakened with a sour face. First off, you don't peel Kumquats. You just bite into them! yep, peeling and all! I prefer to not eat them but use them in cooking to add a little something to a savory dish. I tried baking them in the roaster pan with my chicken, onions, potatoes, and carrots. We loved it! I've noticed one popular recipe which crops up a lot when you search "kumquats" is chutney. I need to try that next.  But they are cute aren't they? I can see why someone coined the phrase "My Little Kumquat" as an expression of affection for someone they thought was just oh so cute!

Agustin tried one at cousin Ellie's urging. His reaction?? I'll just say it was the same reaction that food blogger Susan Russo had when she was first introduced to Kumquats.

"I bit into the kumquat, and it initially tasted like an orange rind, only sweeter and more delicate. Then my teeth sunk into the juicy flesh and — POW! — a jolt of tartness hit my taste buds. Involuntarily, my cheeks sucked in, my lips puckered, and my eyes watered. (I had a visceral reaction just writing that sentence.)
The farmer looked at me, hesitatingly. I smiled at him and said, "I'll take a basket, please." When you have a sensory experience that explosive, you want to have it again."

Soooo-YOU'VE NEVER TRIED A KUMQUAT? Why not check out the link below and order yourself some! They lose their acidity when used in savory dishes! Honest!

Monday, February 06, 2012


Let's start with the sweet, shall we?

Today is my mom's birthday! And as I said on my Face book page, she doesn't seem to be slowing down at all!  (Yesterday was my sister's birthday - yeah, she was mom's little early birthday present!) We had a special day at church yesterday to both celebrate mom's sixty ninth birthday and to honor and thank her for being our pastor's wife. She was totally surprised which is what we were going after! As two of my little guys from our Children's Church class escorted her to the platform, she was weeping emotionally; then wept while on stage with the children as they sang to her; then wept some more while the kiddos presented her a huge poster board sized card they made for her; then continued weeping as her favorite soloists sang her favorite hymns/songs. After service, we had dinner on the grounds! (yep! We're good baptists and in the south! The only thing missing was the pimiento cheese! Hint, Hint Missy Bowden!)

Some things you should know about my mom:
*She loves God
*She loves my dad
*She loves hard work
*She has more energy than anyone else in our church
*She loves to organize other's homes
*She has been a faithful wife to a pastor
*She has moved all over the United States of America, alot
 (see point above!)
*She enjoys being invited to speak at ladies meetings
*She loves cooking for Ron and Ellie Kennedy
*She misses her great grand daughters beyond measure
 (they live in Paraguay)
*She misses her baby boy John, who lives and works in W.V.
*She still works full time
*She runs circles around me!
*She loves visiting with people
*She is very hospitable

Now just a few photos from yesterday---
A few of my students from Children's Church presented their pastor's wife with a huge birthday card
 then sang Happy Birthday to her!
( Have I mentioned she wept?)

Sarah presented mom with a beautifully handmade scrapbook and a pretty bag full of birthday cards.

Tim confirms that this is indeed a special service to honor mom.

Some of my girls listening to Miss Stephanie sing.
(Steph is my teaching assistant.)

It was a blessing to our church family to see Becky Foust at services yesterday. She asked me to thank everyone for their prayers for her last week after an attack from a Chow Chow. The surgeon did an amazing job closing the tear in her face. A muscle inside also had to be repaired.

The pretty roses presented to mom yesterday.

A closeup of the scrapbook and card bags presented to mom.
 Below, a tiny clip of Stephanie singing. I cut it short. I was sitting further back than usual and wasn't sure how well my camera was capturing her pretty voice.

Now, for the Bitter part of this post:

I was saddened to awake this morning to news of my niece Jackie experiencing a miscarriage this weekend. I had just recently blogged about her here. We rest in the grace of our Sovereign God who cares for each of us and knows what is best. Jackie and Brian are experiencing that amazing grace through this difficult time and rest in the fact of meeting their baby in Heaven.

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Photo Montage for My Li'l Sister's Birthday!


I wish I could tell my little sister "Happy Birthday" in person, but since she lives on another planet continent, I won't be able to do that. So in honor of her birthday, please indulge me in posting this photo montage for her. We have shared many happy memories, she and I! Of course, some not so happy. Such is life. But for today, we will dwell on the happy ones! :)

I'm happy she has family members near her who will see to making her special day memorable. When I turned FIFTY (did I just say that out loud?) she surprised me and flew to the states. She showed up at a school reunion I was at. I was called out to the parking lot. In the parking lot, I saw a HUGE box with a tag which read "To Pam, special delivery". I opened up that box and guess what popped out? a red headed sister!!!  My sister, who is very claustrophobic, sat on a chair, inside a huge box for quite a long time waiting for me to get out to the parking lot! Now that is sisterly love if ever I saw it! You can look at photos of that spectacle here or watch the joy of the moment  here!

Now an' ad nauseum' collection of photos in no particular order because Blogger likes doing that to me when I upload!
My sister and I while living in Mexico
(and little Jackie Jo too!)

My sister and I in the refrigerator, er I mean AT the refrigerator @ my house in Wesley Chapel, FL.
(We were planning and prepping for her soon to be daughter in law's bridal shower that evening!)

My sis entertaining  Georgianne and eating @ my house in Wesley Chapel, FL
She might kill me for this one!

Oh, these are all of our munchkins, several years ago. We both LOVE our kiddos!
Smyrna Baptist Church, Tampa, Florida

My sister at her son's wedding. (Doesn't she look lovely?)
She is playing with Abigail, one of her grand-daughters.
Condo @ Lake Tahoe, California

My sister with her 4 children, new daughter in law, grand baby, and hubby @
Lake Tahoe

My sister and ... oh wait, I don't see her in this photo, but I do see most of our kiddos and both of our husbands in it! :)
and our little brother Johnny down on the end showing off his arms!
Family Reunion @ Uncle Mack's "property" - ahem - West Virginia!
AW!! My sister and I just a few years ago! RIGHT!
 Fortuna, California

My sister, mommy, and I in our humble little house in Fortuna,California.

My sister on Christmas morning at our house in Arcadia, Florida.
(oh how I'd love to have that big farmhouse now! What I could do with it!)

My sister, in our yard (orange grove) Hillsboro Ave. Arcadia, Florida with one of our many pets over the years.
She always was the pet lover of the family!

My sister in middle school.
Aren't her freckles cute?
I'm not sure where we lived at this point in time. Our dad was in ministry, so we moved - ALOT!

My sister with friends Kim and Jessica at summer camp @
 the Bill Rice Ranch, Murfreesboro, Tennessee

My sister after high school graduation. I think she was actually teaching kindergarten at Arcadia Christian Center.
Isn't she pretty?

My sister on McDonald's playground in Arcadia, Florida with one of my students from Port
Charlotte who was spending the weekend with us. (Rita, do you remember Chrissy Zeeman?)

(yeah, back in the day!! This was our prayer card we left at churches, reminding them to pray for us as we traveled to garner support to help send us to the mission field of Australia.

My sister and her hubby Clint.
This was their first prayer card as they planned to minister in Venezuela.
The lived in New Hampshire as newlyweds.

My sister in high school, Cambridge, Ohio

My sister and I weeks after she had given birth to baby Jayde. She is holding an album I made for her.
@ our parent's home, Tampa, Florida

One last word for my little sister:


 and I love you very much.
Happy Birthday Rita!
P.S. -  the post I did yesterday was about her daughter, Jackie.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

"My Dad, the Doctor"

Okay, so I want everyone to meet my niece Jackie! She is ah-may-zing!!! You really should check out her blog, Keepin' Sane.

Her talent and creativity with words and photography will pull you into her daily life in Paraguay, South America.

She recently posted the following story on her blog about a childhood memory of when she lived in the Amazon Jungle with her missionary family. The story brought a smile to my face as I'm sure it will yours. Of course I wish you could meet all the people she mentions, then you would be able to visualize what I was able to visualize while reading it.

Now without further adieu, I give you Jackie and her story!

                                                                Meet Jackie!!!
                               This is Jackie with her two year old, Lexi


My Dad, the doctor.

(Author: Jackie Vernoy McCobb)

She asked if my dad was a doctor.
Uhm...yes, well, kinda...maybe? Sorta.
Hm...I'll just start at the beginning.
When I was eleven we moved from a big city in Venezuela, Barquisimeto its called, to a small Indian village named Chajurana. It was a two hour plane trip. Not a big plane, a small one engine 206 Cessna. Like a sardine can with wings. We arrived in the village and began the long process of settling in. The bats didn't like that we were taking over their outhouse. And of course we didn't like going to the outhouse by ourselves. So who ever had to "go" also had to convince a younger sibling to accompany them.
Josh - "Hey! Jewel! You want to go to the out house with me?"
Jewel- "No."
Josh - "It will be fun!"
Jewel- "No, it will stink. The out house smells weird."
Josh - "Please???"
Jewel - ""
Josh - "Uhm...Jayde! You want to go the out house with me??"
Jayde- "AAAA!! I hate bats!!!" (as she's running away....)
You get the point. Well, one day, right at dusk, the Ye'kwana nurse came to get my dad. He told my dad they needed his help. A little boy had shot an arrow into his shoulder. Could my dad help the men get it out? My dad was ecstatic to help, he grabbed his flashlight, because his idea of "helping" was holding the flashlight so they could see better while they pulled the arrow out. Wrong.
When they got to the small, smokey little hut one of the men handed my dad a scalpel and said, "There you go." My dad asked them just what they thought he was supposed to do with a scalpel. "Pull the arrow out."
"I don't know how to pull the arrow out. You're the nurse!"
"Yeah, but you're the missionary."
"All missionaries have to do medical stuff." Of course this conversation did not take place in English, it supposedly took place in Yekwana, which my dad knew very little of at the time. So for all we know the conversation that really took place was...
"Pull the arrow out"
"Hi! How are you? What is your name?"
"What? I asked you to pull the arrow out. Here's the scalpel."
"We will be here for three months, and Jesus loves you."
"You missionaries get weirder and weirder."
Most of our early conversations in Yekwana went like that, and I must admit that my grasp of the language never really got past that point! ;-)
Long story short, my dad pulled the arrow out, and he was hooked. He loved medical work and went on to deliver babies,treat burns, stitch, pull teeth, etc. Just about anything you could think of, he could do. Of course his children did not put as much trust in him as the Ye'kwanas did. We were afraid to tell dad we had a toothache, cause he would want to pull it. Practice, he called it. We were not very excited about being his dental guinea pigs.
The Ye'kwana parents would threaten their kids..."If you don't behave, the missionary is going to give you a shot!" Ahh...the good old days. When penicillin could fix everything!

The End!

Jackie recently found out she is expecting baby #4. Enlarge this photo to read the sweet note she wrote her new baby!

Friday, February 03, 2012


I'm so thankful for the relationship my husband has with his sons. He has been an active, hands on dad since day one!  I think it is so sweet to watch Shane and his dad refinish Shane's bedroom furniture together. It certainly has been some quality bonding time for the two of them as they have planned their days, shopped for materials, and worked on this project. It has taken a couple of weeks, as they only work on Agustin's day off. Shane has made practically all the decisions concerning his new room in this house.

Ideas of Shane's which we've used:

*use lime green/black/silver for decor
*refinish his existing furniture rather than buying new
*paint said furniture black
*attach new hardware
*chose contemporary brushed nickel handles
*picked out new brushed nickel lamps
*chose black lamp shades instead of white
*brushed nickel ceiling fan/light

Ideas of mine which we've used so far:

*purchase thermal draperies to block out some of this hot Florida sun! (his bedroom window gets full morning sun and by the afternoon his room is too warm to enjoy)
*use black floating shelves in lieu of a bulky two piece cabinet/bookshelf

I can't wait to get it all pulled together with lime green accessories. I promise, I will take pictures to share here!

FYI: This furniture has been in our family for many years. It was used throughout the childhood of my cousin's son, Ted. Ted grew up to be an Army Ranger. After returning from his tours in Iraq, Ted accepted a position as instructor at West Point!!! Yeah, awesome I know! :) After a few more years in Germany, Ted has now retired. We have used Ted's furniture for both of our sons. It has been an honor!

Here is the cabinet and bookshelf that is part of Shane's bedroom furniture. I'm going to steal use it in my kitchen I think.

This is one of the small drawers of the above shelf. Can you read what it says?  My cousin Ted must have been saving money to purchase a frog?? I just shared this photo on his Facebook page, asking him to indulge me by explaining. I think it's a nice little piece of his youth.

Thursday, February 02, 2012

Back to Blogging Revival

Okay, day two of my "back to blogging" revival!!!

Great news today, the hubs got a text while at work which read: "Congratulations! The job is yours if you want it. Dave was impressed with you in the interview today. I'll call you tomorrow to talk about the money/benefits package."

I will tell you more about THE JOB if he decides to take it. He has been to three interviews for this new challenge. It really suits him.  For those of you who know my husband, here is a hint about the new opportunity - he can be on the beach daily!!! You all know how much he loves the sun and water! :

"Thank you Lord for your faithfulness which encourages us daily."

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

A Few of My Musings About...

this very blog - "Midnight Musings". To blog or not to blog-that seems to be the question. If I do continue this blog (or revive this blog!), I'm thinking no more mediocrity! I want to go beyond cutesy and family pictures. When I began this blog adventure, it was well before Facebook was known to me. Now that we all facebook,( because FACE it, FACEBOOK is so easy) I really don't need my blog to keep up with family on far away continents as was my original intention for starting this it. However, in my time of musing, I discovered I do desire a place to express myself in more detail. I think a blog is great for that. (ok, I just heard a my sons and a few of my nieces and nephews groan!) I feel this blogging is something I need in my life right now. Perhaps I need to fulfill that desire to have a record of my thoughts during this stage of my being! I need a record of all the many changes we are going through. I'd love to be able to write in long hand all the wonderful memories we are making and about all the changes in our lives, but with chronic pain and RA-well writing just isn't an option for me. I'll just type my musings here and if someone happens by to read those musings, then so be it. If not, I'll still have a journal of our lives! :)

I think I've pinpointed a couple of obstacles to my blogging.
1) I don't feel I have anything of interest to share. I mean...have you seen all the creative people out there? Hello!! I'm not one of those!
2) I also LOVE LOVE  comments! I fear I can't produce a blog style that will cause other bloggers to want to return.

Soooo... here is the conclusion to all my musings...I'm going to blog for ME!!! Oh and for my cousin Ron. He admitted to being a lurker!

Now... I'm off to visit some blogs!