Thursday, April 26, 2012

A picture gallery...

My oldest daughter is an artist who uses unusual medium to create her paintings.  So it came as no surprise that she wanted to do a picture gallery on her dining room wall that was asymmetrical but balanced.  We saw the idea on Pinterest to have a horizontal line across the arrangement that all the pictures would go above or below.  So we used painter's tape for that horizontal line. 

The next thing we did was lay all the pictures and initials out on the living room floor in an arrangement that she liked, then transferred them to the wall one at a time.  The thing that saved the most time was putting toothpaste on the hooks on the back of the picture frames and pressing them to the wall to mark where the nails would go.  We probably saved several hours because we didn't have to measure anything.  Also, we used a small level on the larger frames to make sure the toothpaste marks would be level.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

I've got to do some planning...

I spend, on average, ten hours a week on this blog - research, studying, planning and writing - and thoroughly enjoy the process and the outcome.  Sometimes life gets in the way and the research, studying, planning and writing just doesn't happen.  It's just how it is...

So, because of a lack of planning, the posts you will find in Nanna's Kitchen this week will again be short but hopefully sweet.

Today will be pictures of two crafty items found at my oldest daughter's house.  The first set of pictures are of a pretty frame around the thermostat in the hall.  This was a tabletop frame so we had to tear off the easel back and break the glued in glass (which I did by wrapping the frame in two layers of paper towel and put it all in a plastic gallon bag then broke the glass by gently tapping it with a hammer out in the carport).

Another craft project that she had done was a really cute pedestal that she keeps by her kitchen sink for her dish soap, hand soap and sponge.  She simply used gorilla glue to glue a melamine plate from Target to a wooden candle stick. 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Busy, busy, busy...

Ok...I always have these grandiose plans to blog no matter what's going on.  And, they rarely come to fruition.  So, my daughter and granddaughter have been here for a week and a half and I thought I could surely blog during her afternoon nap.  But, my daughter and I have had these wonderful conversations about what God is teaching us about ourselves and our relationships - hence, the lack of daily blog posts.

Today's post is going to be short and sweet.  And I will make no promises that you will find any more posts this week.  I will try...


Sometimes, all you need to update your decor is a little Old English Scratch Oil on your wood furniture to give them a new lease on life.  My daughter inherited this little desk from her grandma and it had obtained a variety of scratches in our many moves.  It was looking a little dry and scruffy.

I just put some Old English on a rag and rubbed it into the desk.  It's not perfect, but it sure looks better!  (Sorry about the dark pictures)



My daughter also had an old oak dresser that was quite dry and dull.  The same Old English brightened it up as well and it is a beautiful piece of furniture in their living room. 

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

A book from the library...

My granddaughter dearly loves to read, so we went to the library to get some books for her to enjoy while she is here visiting.  I had no clue we could check out fifty children's books at one time!

I found a book entitled, The Deuteronomy Project, by Richard B. Couser.  The description on the cover sounded intriguing, so I checked it out.  It had been all too long since I had read a book...

Well, so far I've read two chapters and let me tell you, this is not going to be an easy quick read!  The story is about a lawyer who is challenged by a retired pastor to study the book of Deuteronomy with him.  I have written down several quotes already from the book that provoked deep thought within myself and frank discussion with one of my daughters.  So, I would be remiss if I didn't share them with you.  I'll take it easy on you - only one quote per day!

Today's quote - (speaking of God's Word) "Truth and goodness are communicated through beauty. The music and poetry of it awaken our sensitivity to meaning.  The Holy Spirit is not a hack writer."

How many times do we read God's Word and skim over the words not paying attention to the music and poetry it contains?  How much we miss!

Fly Lady

Wednesday is Anti-Procrastination Day. 
Make a list of the projects around the house that you've been putting off.  Pick your least favorite and get it done!  Remember to give yourself a time limit and set your timer to keep yourself moving.


While I was at my daughter's new home helping her get settled, I noticed the dog's kennel in the corner of the dining room.  She really didn't want it there, but doesn't have much choice.  Their little dog has to be able to see outside when she is in the kennel or she becomes very anxious and bad things happen.  Let's just say, no pillow is safe!  All the windows in the house are high and there are French doors in the dining room, thus the kennel is in the dining room.

So, I took some fabric her mother-in-law gave her from tablecloths she had made for our daughter and son-in-law's wedding rehearsal dinner and made a cover for the kennel.  All four sides are separate flaps that fold up so the pup can see out.  Then, when my daughter wants the kennel covered up, she can fold down each side.  It is much nicer to look at in the dining room now.

Monday, April 9, 2012

A wonderful weekend...

I don't know about you all, but I am slightly tired after a wonderful weekend with family and friends.  God blessed us with beautiful weather for Easter Sunday and the kiddos played outside all afternoon and evening until the sun went down.  There was no complaining when our daughter told our granddaughter that it was time to go to bed! 

It is so precious to see these little ones beginning to understand that Easter is a celebration of what Jesus did for us on the cross and by His resurrection.  It warms my heart.

Fly Lady

Monday is Home Blessing Day.  After having a houseful of kids running in and out, my house needs cleaned.  But, because of rainy days predicted this week, I really need to do more yard work.  My granddaughter and I will go purchase flowers for the shed garden and plant them.  She enjoys being outside and helped my honey and me rake and sweep on Saturday after we trimmed the roses.  It has been fun teaching her the names of the flowers and plants we water every morning, too. 

Middle East Update

The U.S. Navy has deployed another ship to the Persian Gulf as tensions continue to mount over Iran's nuclear program.  Syria and Egypt are still a source of much concern. 

Recipe - Charroset
This is an adaptation of a Passover recipe from Clive Berkman.  Charroset is part of the Seder meal and represents the bricks and mortar the Israelite slaves made while they were in Egypt.

6 cups Granny Smith apples, peeled, cored and grated or finely chopped
1 cup roughly chopped pecans
1 cup golden raisins
2 small lemons, juiced
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 cup pomegranate juice

Mix the apples, pecans and raisins in a bowl.  In another small bowl or cup, whisk the lemon juice, honey, cinnamon and pomegranate juice.  Pour over the fruit and nut mixture and stir until fruit and nuts are well coated.  Refrigerate until chilled.

This is yummy on oatmeal, by the way!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

The wine and the bread...

In yesterday's post, we saw the account of the supper Jesus shared with His apostles in which He said the wine was His blood and the bread was His body, soon to be broken.  Even though they were celebrating Passover, believers in Jesus still practice communion using the wine (grape juice for most) and bread (communion crackers) to remember Jesus' sacrifice on the cross for our sins.'s very important for Jews and it is very important for Christians today.  The Passover celebration is a reminder of how God saved the Jews from slavery in Egypt.  When Jesus died on the cross, Passover took on a complete meaning.  He died to free us from the slavery of sin.  Let's look at the meaning of the wine and the bread. 

A couple of years ago, I was privileged to meet Clive Berkman, a famous chef who is also a Jewish believer.  He loves to put on Seder meals (Passover meals) for people to explain how Jesus completed Passover.  At the time, I was our pastor's assistant and was in charge of putting together a Seder for our congregation so we could learn about Passover.  Through some research, I found Clive on the Internet.  Interestingly enough, he attends the same church in Houston where our youngest daughter was on staff. 

I put together a team of women and Clive taught us how to prepare a Seder meal.  It was fun working in the kitchen with him - he is quite a character with lots of great stories!  But the thing I will always remember is how, as we went through the Seder service, he explained how Jesus fulfilled the Passover.  It made me so much more thankful for Jesus' sacrifice for me!

Now for the bread and the wine - Clive prepared booklets for us so we could follow along in the Seder service.  The following quotes are taken from this booklet:


"We have first the three matzohs (crackers), which commemorate the unleavened bread that our forefathers ate in their hasty departure, unleavened because there was no time for the dough to rise.  Also, leaven is a symbol of evil, and in God's salvation, we are purged of evil through His work.

There are three matzohs, Rabbis say, to symbolize the three groupings of the Jewish people - Kohens (priests), Levites, and Israelites - all unified together.  We see also in the tradition that the first Jewish believers in the Messiah celebrated the love of God through three matzoh, the middle one representing the Son who is broken for us.

In the ceremony of breaking, I break the middle matzoh in two removing one-half and setting half aside.  Half I will hide.  This portion is the afikomen or our dessert.  We remember that the middle person of the Godhead was broken for us at Passover time.  We place half of it under a pillow, remembering His burial."

From Zola Levitt's book, The Seven Feasts of Israel, we read, "The unleavened bread in the New Testament is, of course, the body of our Lord.  He is described as 'the Bread of Life'.  He was born in Bethlehem, in Hebrew 'House of Bread'.  The Passover ceremony of breaking and burying and then resurrecting a piece of this bread (the middle piece, as the Son in the Trinity) very obviously presents the Gospel in the midst of the modern Jewish Passover celebration.

God performed this exact ceremony with the burial of Jesus, our precious piece of unleavened bread, and more importantly, He performed it on the exact day of the feast.  Once again, the required feast was fulfilled in a remarkable and unmistakable way."


There are four cups of wine at the Passover table.  "The four cups of wine we drink remind us of the four-part promise:  'I will bring you forth,' 'I will deliver you,' 'I will redeem you,' and 'I will take you.'  This is the testimony of all who put their trust in the Messiah."  C.B.

Going back to Zola Levitt, "The Christian celebrates Passover, in effect, by participating in the sacrifice of the Lord.  Back in Egypt the Jew marked his house with the blood of the lamb.  Today, the Christian marks his house - his body, 'the house of the spirit' - with the blood of Christ.  The Angel of Death will pass over each Christian as surely as he passed over each Israelite in Egypt.

Passover, then, represents our salvation.  We do not keep the feast in remembrance of the exodus from Egypt, since that was the mere shadow of the greater redemption to come.  The Lord Himself instructed us to 'Do this in remembrance of Me.'  We do take communion, a part of the original Passover feast, in remembrance of the Lord."

Isn't that awesome!  And this year, Passover and Good Friday occur on the same day, just as they did that day that our Savior gave His life for us as the ultimate Passover Lamb.  Have a wonderful thankful Easter!

I will not be blogging tomorrow as planned - my granddaughter will be here in the morning and I must give her all my attention!

Recipe - Fruit Chick

I know there is lots of candy at our house on Easter, so I thought I would include this healthy but fun recipe for the kiddos from Family Fun.

Body - one thin round slice of apple (remove core and seeds)
Feathers - pineapple tidbits
Eyes - blueberries
Comb - sliced strawberry
Beak/ Feet - dried apricots

It would be extra yummy if you dry the apple slice with a paper towel, then spread a thin layer of peanut butter or cream cheese on the apple before putting on the pineapple tidbits.  Cute and nutritious!  Fill their tummies with this, then let them eat their candy!

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


And when the hour had come He (Jesus) reclined at the table,
and the apostles with Him.
And He said to them, "I have earnestly desired to eat
this Passover with you before I suffer;
for I say to you , I shall never again eat it 
until it is fulfilled in the kingdom of God."
And when He had taken a cup and given thanks,
He said, "Take this and share it among yourselves;
for I say to you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine
from now on until the kingdom of God comes."
And when He had taken some bread and given thanks,
He broke it, and gave it to them, saying,
"This is my body which is given for you;
do this in remembrance of Me."
And in the same way He took the cup 
after they had eaten, saying,
"This cup which is poured out for you 
is the new covenant in My blood."
Luke 22:14-20

Until a couple of years ago, I always thought this account was just about Jesus establishing the practice of communion.  For Christianity, this is the first account of communion and Christians have been participating in communion ever since.  Paul later tells us we should practice communion to remind us of Jesus' sacrifice for us.

Paul, being a Jew, understood something that many Gentile believers don't understand about this supper that took place in an upper room.  As the above verses state, Jesus and the apostles were observing Passover that night.  Jesus was talking about how He was going to complete Passover by being the ultimate Passover Lamb.  Yearly sacrifices would no longer be needed as His sacrifice would be all that was needed for ever more.

Passover was established by God when the Jews were enslaved in Egypt.  Each family was to kill an unblemished lamb, spread its blood on their door frame and roast the lamb to eat it later.  The last of the plagues of Egypt was the Angel of Death going over Egypt and killing all the firstborn among man and animal.  When the Angel of Death saw the blood on a door frame, he passed over that home and the firstborn that were there were saved from death.
The next two days, we will explore the meaning of the cup and the broken bread mentioned in the above verses.  It's amazing!

Middle East Update

Passover begins at sundown this Friday.  I was reading Joel Rosenberg's weblog and clicked on a link to an article at (Israeli news) by Yossi Yhoshua posted on March 28, 2012.  He says that for the first time in years, the IDF (Israel Defense Forces) will be on full alert during the Passover holiday.

"Over the years, an army-wide break during Passover became a tradition followed by all major military units, including the Air Force, Navy and intelligence corps.  The IDF's headquarters in Tel Aviv is also traditionally deserted during the holiday."

Fly Lady

Today is Anti-Procrastination Day.  Make that list of projects around the house that need done by Easter, then get started!  For me, I need to finish planting flowers out front and pull weeds in the back yard then get the house ready for company.  There is so much to catch up on since I was gone for two weeks!

Recipe - Peeps Cake

My youngest daughter made this cute Easter cake. This recipe is pretty easy because you just make a chocolate box cake (or make your own homemade chocolate cake - definitely better) in two 9" rounds.  Stack the cakes and frost with fluffy chocolate frosting.  While the frosting is still somewhat soft, put yellow Peeps around the top with the beaks facing away from the center of the cake.  Fill the center with chocolate chips, points up.  Brush the sugar off an extra Peep over the chocolate chips.  It looks like a sunflower!

There are lots of different colors of Peeps now.  It would also be cute to make a white cake with white frosting and any one of the colors of Peeps.  Fill the center with white chocolate chips or Easter M&Ms. 

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Easter is coming...

I had a great time with my grandson for the last three weeks.  He is such a character!  I also enjoyed helping my daughter and son-in-law get settled into their new home.  I have pictures of the crafts and recipes we made and decorations that were put up.  I hope they will be inspiration for you in your home over the next couple of weeks!

Now, I look forward to seeing my granddaughter and her parents this weekend for Easter.  She is getting so big and can carry on a conversation.  I can't wait!

Just a little note:  Did you know that without Easter, Christmas would be meaningless?  We celebrate Jesus' coming at Christmas, but the reason He came is what we celebrate at Easter.  He came and He died.  But what makes Him different from everyone else is that He didn't stay dead - He rose from the grave!  Jesus now sits at the right hand of God and will be coming back soon to reign over the earth.  Maranatha!  And because He lives, we have the promise of eternal life with Him!

Fly Lady

How have you been doing with your Fly Lady schedule?  My daughter is SO glad they are unpacked and her new house is organized so she can get her schedule going again.

Today is plan and play day.  This would be a great time to plan Easter dinner and activities!

Middle East Update

There is still a lot going on in the Middle East and interesting developments have been happening daily.  Passover (the celebration of God freeing the Israelites from slavery in Egypt) is this Friday.  If you don't know about Passover, I would encourage you to do a search on the internet. Jesus was the ultimate Passover Lamb!


Do you remember these from Christmas?

We adapted this same sweet for Easter by using Hugs instead of Kisses and Easter M&Ms.  They turned out really cute!

The top picture has M&M speckled Easter eggs and the bottom picture has Easter peanut M&Ms.

Put pretzels on a cookie sheet.  Place one Hug on each pretzel and put in a 250 degree oven for 2-4 minutes until Kiss is soft enough to push M&M down into the middle.  Let cool completely.

My daughter put half a dozen of these treats in cute Easter cupcake liners with a little Easter grass, then wrapped them in plastic, tying them with curly ribbon for a youth bake sale.  So cute!