Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Commitment & Dedication ...

During the month of May I had the chance to experience the word commitment both personally and to see it in action.  Commitment is a strange word and one perhaps I have managed to adjust through time to suit me.  But sometimes there is no adjustment to be made – just a matter of doing whatever it is that one was committed to do.  And it is after the commitment is completed that one can really experience the blessings and be thankful for the journey.

This journey began in the fall of 1990.  Most will not remember that it began that long ago – but I can remember standing in the workroom of Graford ISD and sharing that if Tarleton ever had a doctoral program – then I would want my doctorate.  That was 21 years ago…. Tarleton began that doctoral program in the fall of 2003 and I was a member of the first cohort class.

I quickly learned all the doctoral vocabulary – the one that seemed the most interesting was ABD (all but the dissertation).  Evidently there are many students who take the course work but never finish the writing project at the end – dissertation.  ABD means nothing in the real world – it is almost like saying I was committed to the program but not committed to the endeavor and the true challenge.  For me ABD was beginning to seem like a reality….

But I am Ed.D. – not ABD – and on Saturday, May 12th – I completed the last phase of commitment to earn a doctorate -  I walked across Tarleton’s stage one more time. It was His saving grace that made that journey even possible.

While that commitment was important to me and to my family – I witnessed a far greater commitment on an evening in May – in a small church sanctuary – in warm water – with a youth director gone on to another life adventure…

It is a bit difficult to hear his comments (the 3 year old was sitting next to me ….) but some highlights are:

Being committed is what it is all about… but nothing is a commitment anymore – but yet that is what we must do.  Jesus knows we are not perfect but he calls us to LOVE when we commit to Him.

I wonder if we remember the value of that commitment.  Are we ABD – all but the dedication?  Are we living as if we have dedicated our lives to Him – dedicated to LOVE – dedicated to sharing with others - dedicated to supporting the new members of our cohort – dedicated to the writing project of our lives?

I love that he has on his Texas shirt.  A forever memory for us who have called him friend.  My dearest friend is his wife – Jamie.  They have committed their lives to LOVE and to being able to provide their children with a life full of health and happiness.  That health commitment has taken them to Colorado – and as difficult and out of character for me that it will be – I am dedicated to remaining a part of their lives – after all – how can I not be committed to their 2 – how can I not be dedicated to them remembering dinners & visits at Cheryl’s house?

The song by Jeremy Camp - Let It Fade - has been playing on my radio and in my head for days - the lyrics just seem to be ringing quite true right is worth the $1.29 on iTunes -

Have you been walking on a surface that's uncertain?
Have you helped yourself to everything that's empty?
You can't live this way too long.
There's more than this, more than this.
Have you been standing on your own feet too long?
Have you been looking for a place where you belong?

You can rest, you will find rest.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade.
Let this new life offered be your saving grace.

Let this old life crumble, let it fade, let it fade.....


His saving grace – oh yes it is that grace that keeps us from being ABD -

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Becki & Her Baking.....

I have noticed over on Becki's FB page that she has some cool recipes - however one day I just happened upon a recipe for Pecan Pie Muffins. I LOVE pecans - and love pecan pie  - but oh wait pie has a crust - a crust is made with regular flour - oops - need a GF pecan pie....

Well - Pecan Pie Muffins to the rescue!!!

I mentioned on Becki's page that I was going to keep the recipe just as she had written it....

1 cup of packed brown sugar, 1/2 cu all purpose flour, 1 cup chopped pecans, 2/3 cup melted butter, 2 eggs beaten.  Preheat over to 330 degrees.  Spray muffin tins real good with Baker's Joy (MUST use Baker's Joy or they will stick!).   ...... (she's away from FB for a bit and comes back) Yes, one teaspoon vanilla.  Stir together brown sugar, flour and pecans.  In separate bowl slowly pour melted butter into butter and whisk.  Add egg/butter to dry ingredients until combined.  Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups about 2/3 full.  I bake regular muffins at 330 degrees for 17-18 minutes and mini muffins for 15-17 minutes.  Remove from oven and cool for 5 minutes.  If necessary run a knife around the edges and pop out of tins.  I double the recipe and got 12 regular muffins.  - Sorry for the delay....(away a moment and comes back) pour melted butter into beaten eggs.  Geez - can you tell I am a bit rattled.  I will settle down in a minute.  Another muffin might help, wonder how they taste with wine.

I love my friend Becki - her husband is my friend Dee.  Dee hired me for my first administrator job and he was an amazing person to work for and with.  I adored the Didriksens.  Dee and Son two share a birthday!  Becki is a sweet person - and this recipe was shared in the middle of her caring about family members.  I love that she took time to share - and oh my heavens I am glad!!!

Becki’s Pecan Pie Muffins the GF Way! (recipe is posted on the Recipes I Love page....)
Stir together:
2/3 cup melted butter
2 eggs beaten
1 tsp. vanilla

The add and mix:
1 cup brown sugar
½ cup all purpose flour (nearly all purpose GF flour I have that recipe too)
1 tsp Xanthum gum (leave this out if you are making the non GF recipe)
1 cup chopped pecans

Spoon into muffin tins that have been heavily sprayed with some kind of spray that keeps things from sticking (I have used Pam for baking - but check the ingredients.... it has wheat flour!).  Bake at 330 degrees for about 15 minutes.  Let them sit for about 5 minutes after they come out of the oven.  They are done when they look like a pecan pie does.....- remember they will set up a bit as they cool.  he above ingredients make 6 muffins I used the above plus ½ and got a dozen.

However - DON'T use the cupcake liners..... better just to spray!

I miss seeing my friends - they live in the Heart of Texas now...... So glad we have that medium FB to keep in touch (and share recipes!).

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Brownies..... & PB Cookies....

I love brownies.  I am not a real big sweet eater but brownies I love.  That was a difficult item to give up when I decided that Gluten Free was for Me!

I have tried a couple of brands - they were okay but last night I made these:

Okay - I realize this says "Yellow Cake Mix" but Betty Crocker has a brownie mix - it is perfect!  I have already thrown the box away when I decided to write....

So - I made the Betty Crocker Brownie mix last evening.  Even my Anti - GF men in my life thought they were good - I added some Reese's peanut butter cups to the batter - but even without that they would be wonderful.

So thankful!


Update (this recipe is over on my favorite recipe page too...)

My bestest GF friend just sent me this PB Cookie Recipe
1 cup peanut butter
½ cup sugar
¼ cup brown sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 egg slightly beaten
Cream PB and sugars 2 3 minutes.  Add egg and keep mixing then add soda it will be crumbly.  Make one inch balls bake on a stone at 300 or 310 for at least 10-12 minutes Jamie cooked hers for almost 20 minutes when cookies start to crack and are golden they are ready!  You can also do the crisscross fork thing to  make them look like real PB cookies ~~~~~~ yes no flour!

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

What Makes a Marriage Last.....

It was the evening nurse who said it best:

He sure loves his wife - you can tell.

The difference in my parents' lives is what their marriage is based upon.  They have been married since June 1, 1957.  They have been through much together.  My mom is from Nebraska - although she had found her way to Texas by the time they met.  They both graduated from North Texas (aka The University of North Texas) - my dad has a master degree in education and taught business before becoming a superintendent and my mom has an elementary education degree and a masters in library science.  I believe that my dad is the only one of 10 children of Fred and Ethel Cannon that has a college degree.  My mother's siblings have some post high school education - and she had 3 brothers and 4 sisters.

Christmas 2009

My mom lost her father in the late 60s (I am sorry that I cannot remember exactly when see note), my mom's mom spent the largest portion of her life in a nursing home in Madison Nebraska and in the last years - she was the one who helped with the other people at the home.  We have wonderful stories of her helping others and she left in the late 90s.  My dad's dad left earth on April 6, 1969 and my grandma followed him on August 8, 1995.

My dad has had health concerns since he was born (oh at home in their little country house right outside of Collinsville).  You however would never have known it because he did not tell others - and we were never really allowed to be sick when we were growing up.  But nonetheless - he has had several major surgeries - one in 1972, triple by-pass in 1991, cancer surgery around 1996 (I can only remember the picture of Sons and I am guessing how old they were....) - hospitals are not foreign to us but Dad sure likes to be home!

As I spent the night with them in his room at Harris Methodist this week (he was taken by ambulance from his home at 9:30am Monday morning, then to FW by another ambulance and at 9:30pm he finally made it to a hospital room just for him!)  - it was late and I hear my mom say:

Okay Bob it is your turn.

My dad - December 2011
Then he begins....

Dear heavenly father....  

My phone battery was dead or I would have been recording!  But the memory will suffice....

We thank you for these glimpses of you that we see....

My dad has dementia and words do not always flow freely but you would have never suspected as he opened his heart ....

Help us to love you more.

Yes.... my dad is still teaching me about Jesus (he said much more but those were the words I could not forget...).  And their marriage - it was my dad's turn to say their bedtime prayer.

Okay Kerry it is your turn.

Note - my Grandpa Adams went to heaven in January of 1969 and Grandma Adams in March of 1995 - yes the same years as my Cannon grandparents.

Always, May the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all. 2 Corinthians 13:14.