A Good Boy…

…in a far away place.

My son Dane is currently serving a full time, two year mission for the LDS church in Lithuania. He is having the time of his life. He loves the people and beautiful land and the companion he’s works with. He is struggling with the language, but it is coming along and he is determined to get better every day.

Dane in the Missionary Training Center

It is wonderful to read his letters and to know how happy he is–but as a mom…well, I never imagined how hard it would be to say good-bye to my boy. It was unlike anything I’ve ever done. I’m so proud of him…but man, I miss him.

With High School Pal–Justin Benson

I always imagined that it would be easy to be the “sturdy mountain woman” type about having him gone…but I’m more like a big, nerdy, cry baby.

Someone asks how he’s doing, and instead of answering…I cry. Someone tells me they’ve heard from him…I cry. We open his emails and read his weekly adventures…I cry. Ridiculous pattern here.

I have no doubt that this two year mission will be an incredible growing experience for all of us…especially his wussy mother.

Ten Can Taco Soup

The mood today was something fast and very easy…

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Ten Can Taco Soup

Note: Don’t bother draining any of the juices–it makes the soup…soup!

Pour the following in a large soup pan.

2 cans shredded beef (or 1lb. ground beef- browned)

2 cans black beans

2 cans corn

2 lg. cans diced tomatoes

1 small can refried beans

1 can of water

1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix

1 pkg. Taco Seasoning.

Stir all ingredients together and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cheese cubes. Great with tortillas or baked pita bread.

Ten Can Taco Soup
 
Ingredients
  • 2 cans shredded beef (or 1lb. ground beef- browned)
  • 2 cans black beans
  • 2 cans corn
  • 2 lg. cans diced tomatoes
  • 1 small can refried beans
  • 1 can of water
  • 1 pkg. Ranch dressing mix
  • 1 pkg. Taco Seasoning.
Instructions
  1. Don't bother draining any of the juices--it makes the soup...soup!
  2. Pour all ingredients in a large soup pan.
  3. Stir together and heat to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  4. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  5. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and cheese cubes.
  6. Great with tortillas or baked pita bread.

 

One Day…

and a pile of snow later.

It feels so good to be inside with all the wind and flurries on the other side of the window. Time to sort and fold and clean and…cook…hmmmm…soup–I think.

I’ll get back to you.

Molasses Crinkles…

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…cause what we need right now is more SUGAR!! I know, I know. But there is one recipe that this time of year doesn’t work without…Molasses Crinkles. No, I mean it. Just the smell of these coming out your door–will bring the kids in.

But then, you don’t have to share.  :]

Molasses Crinkles

1 cup sugar

3/4 cup butter

1/4 cup molasses

1 egg

Cream together, then add:

2 cups flour

1/4 tsp. salt

1 tsp. cinnamon

1 tsp. cloves

1 tsp. ginger

2 tsp. baking soda

Roll 1 inch dough balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Leave on pan a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

Molasses Crinkles...
 
Ingredients
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¼ cup molasses
  • 1 egg
  • 2 cups flour
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
Instructions
  1. Cream together the first four ingredients, then add all the rest of the dry ingredients.
  2. Roll 1 inch dough balls in sugar and place on ungreased cookie sheet.
  3. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes.
  4. Leave on pan a few minutes before moving to cooling rack.

 

Election Day…

As an eight year old, Election Day enthralled me so much I couldn’t go to bed. The front room couch eventually called my name, but that didn’t stop me from waking up every hour or so to see how the polls were doing, long after the house was silent. The numbers captivated my attention. Knowing me, I probably wrote all the stats down somewhere. I was (am?) weird like that. I saw the final moments before we knew who our new president was going to be. The unofficial declaration of the winner of the race. The overwhelming feeling of so much happening in such a short amount of time.

I remember what happened months after that election, when I saw an inauguration for the first time. I knew that I was watching an historic event. I realized what it meant to be an American. To stand united. To be a part in something bigger than myself. To support our leaders, whoever we–as a country–choose them to be. True it would be another decade before I could participate with my own check mark, but that didn’t matter. I knew the decisions of others had a large impact on me then.

Years later I cannot help but feel that same pull to the polls. I still remember my duty as an American citizen. I voted. As a history student I know too much of the consequences of indifference to avoid casting a ballot.

If you have not voted, please do. We need every opinion. They held my voting station in a library of a nearby elementary school. “How appropriate,” I thought as I saw the pictures of the presidents hanging in a row. While it was not the school I went to as a child, it reminded me of what I know. It reminded me of how I will behave regardless of the outcome. After all we pledge that we are one nation, under God, which means that we can also stand indivisible as the United States of America.

The only way to do that though is to stand, and–in today’s case–vote.