Monday, December 31, 2012

Make-Ahead Christmas Ham, Egg & Cheese Egg Bake

Notice I have no photo for this recipe.  It's because it was gone before I could take one.  You could win a prize for this no-hassle egg casserole.  I like to make an egg bake on Christmas so that I can enjoy the whole day with my family.  While the gifts are being opened, the casserole is making the whole house smell delicious.  Everyone knows their tummies will soon be satisfied with a scrumptious breakfast casserole.

4 eggs, slightly beaten
2 1/4 cups of milk
1  10.75 oz. can cream of mushroom soup
1 8 oz. block of cheddar cheese, shredded (Swiss would do just as well)
1 10 oz. box of chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
1 tsp. of dry mustard
1 6 oz. bag/box of seasoned croutons
2 cups of cooked ham (I used the leftovers from a ham dinner)
1/4 cup of onion, chopped
1/4 cup of crushed pineapple, drained

Spray 9x13 casserole dish with cooking spray.  Place seasoned croutons on the bottom of the dish.  Layer the cooked ham on top of croutons.  Then in a mixing bowl add eggs, milk, soup, cheese, spinach, mustard, onion and pineapple.  Once these ingredients are mixed pour over ham and croutons in the casserole dish.  Cover and refrigerate for up to one day.  When ready to cook, uncover the dish and preheat oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cook for one hour.  Let set for five minutes before cutting.  Enjoy! 

Christmas morning couldn't be more hassle-free.   Spinach-haters beware!  Onion-haters you'll never know!  My daughter and son do not like spinach that much, but in this dish they gave me no fuss.  Believe me they both had a fair serving and their dishes were clean -- not a lick to pick. Clean up is a cinch, too.  Let me know of your success with this one.

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving Day 2012

I am thankful for my nieces and nephews even the one that is not in this photo.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

George Washington's Thanksgiving Proclamation

Whereas it is the duty of all nations to acknowledge the providence of Almighty God, to obey His will, to be grateful for His benefits, and humbly to implore His protection and favor; and Whereas both Houses of Congress have, by their joint committee, requested me to "recommend to the people of the United States a day of public thanksgiving and prayer, to be observed by acknowledging with grateful hearts the many and signal favors of Almighty God, especially by affording them an opportunity peaceably to establish a form of government for their safety and happiness. Now, therefore, I do recommend and assign Thursday, the 26th day of November next, to be devoted by the people of these States to the service of that great and glorious Being who is the beneficent author of all the good that was, that is, or that will be.
—George Washington

For Thanksgiving Day try going through the alphabet with praise for blessings.  Everyone can take a turn going around giving a praise and adding to the ones given before their own.  Example:  "On Thanksgiving and everyday, I am thankful to God for A-Andrew."  The next person adds to it.  "On Thanksgiving and everyday, I am thankful to God for Andrew and B-Bible."  It can be lots of fun.  You can put your own spin on it.  Let me know if you have any new ideas.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Don’t Doubt Him Now
by Frank Reynolds

Don’t doubt him now,
Don’t lend your heart to sorrow.
Though all around seems in such disarray,
God’s arm is sure, sustaining through tomorrow,
Dispelling doubts that only bring dismay.
Don’t doubt him now,
Don’t doubt him now.

Trust in God’s love
To turn your care to gladness,
Prove for yourself the merit of his grace.
Find in his strength the will to shake off sadness.
Discover too the warmth of his embrace.
Trust in God’s love,
Don’t doubt him now.

Your faith in him
Will gladden ev’ry morning,
The day’s advance will more his goodness show.
Your heartfelt trust fulfils the Father’s longing,
And in return his love he will bestow.
Have faith in him,
Don’t doubt him now.
Have faith in him,
Don’t doubt him now.

The Lord redeemeth the soul of his servants: and none of them that trust in Him shall be desolate.  Psalm 34:22

Take comfort in Him with your "shield of faith" which quenches all the fiery darts of the devil. 

Thursday, October 11, 2012

70 Great Years

Doesn't she look lovely?
1942 was a very good year for her.  Happy birthday, Mom!
Mother of five children

She's been blessed with great in-laws.

With some of grandchildren and sister, Pearl
Hope we celebrate many more birthdays with you, Grandmom!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Dahlias to Delight

We went to the annual dahlia show at Longwood Gardens this weekend.  It is always spectacular!  Claire and Thomas entered and walked away with blue stickers -- hard work pays off.  It was lots of fun.

Thomas's entry (Crazy 4 Jesse) - Junior Division

Claire's Entry - Junior Division
The winner's table - "The Court of Honor"

Maybe someday one of us will be able to have a dahlia on that table.  Meanwhile there is still lots to learn.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Welcome Granny and Polly

Follow this simple, kid-friendly recipe to make your own pumpkin puree.  You can can it or freeze it for up to one year.  Without the Spadano's pumpkin this video would not be possible.  Thank you very much!  We had so much fun and saved all the seeds for next year.  

You may want to try this delicious pumpkin recipe after you make your pumpkin puree.  Check it out.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Prove Psalm 34

Take the challenge: Memorize Psalm 34. This psalm has been proven over and over again. Will you prove it, too? God's Word is true. He exalts His Word above His name (Psalm 138:2).

by John Gowans 

At the moment of my weakness, 
When the need for power is plain, 
And my own strength is exhausted once again, 
Then my Lord has made provision 
For the day of my despair, 
And his precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer, 
My prayer.  

Holy Spirit! promised presence fall on me. 
Holy Spirit! make me all I long to be. 
Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit! 
Give your power to me, 
O Holy Spirit. 

When the darkness falls around me, 
When bewildered and afraid, 
When I feel the most deserted and betrayed, 
Then my every need is answered 
By God's providential care, 
And his precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer, 
My prayer.  

Holy Spirit! promised presence fall on me. 
Holy Spirit! make me all I long to be. 
Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit! 
Give your power to me, 
O Holy Spirit. 

Nothing now can rob God's servant 
Of the peace that he bequeaths, 
Nothing take away the strength His presence breathes. 
Of the everlasting arms of love I'm daily made aware, 
And his precious Holy Spirit hears my prayer, 
My prayer.  

Holy Spirit! promised presence fall on me. 
Holy Spirit! make me all I long to be. 
Holy Spirit! Holy Spirit! 
Give your power to me, 
O Holy Spirit. 

 If this has encouraged you like it has encouraged me, let me know.  The challenge still stands.  Let me know how you have proved Psalm 34.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Going on a Frog Hunt

We went on a frog hunt at the Schuylkill Valley Nature Center. We really went to watch, but for one of us it was just too hard to resist. One of us had to get in the pond and catch a frog. He was successful, but not for long. The frog escaped! Take a look at the tadpoles and frogs.
This one still has his tail. Neat-O!
Say "hi" to Jeremiah.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Did Thomas Meet an Angel?

While on vacation I took my son fishing. He had just bought a new fishing pole and wanted to try it out. I took him to the dock to fish in the shadows. Even though he could see the fish and they were nibbling on his line, he grew impatient and wanted to find "a better fishing spot." He decided to take the trail around the lake.
As he headed down the trail, the woods around us started to get darker and darker. I knew their were bears and racoons and other wild creatures in these woods, so I grew a little anxious to find the perfect fishing spot, too.
We had passed a couple of openings in the pine trees by the lake, but Thomas kept walking past them. The woods grew darker and darker and our fishing time was getting away from us. Finally he decided on a spot with a small opening in the pine trees by the lake. As we approached the lake and off the trail, we started stepping on the soft pine needles. It was like walking on top of your bed. I felt a little unsure of my steps. Plus there were holes dotted all over the ground the size of a man's fist. Of course, my imagination started to run away from me, but I had to put up a good front for my son. We got to the lake, but Thomas decided this hole in the pine trees was not big enough to fish. I had to draw the line. "I'm sure I can cast the line out here, Thomas." Hesitatingly and politely he stated that he didn't think it would work. I was very anxious to fish before our time ran out. I probably just broke the first rule of fishing: don't have a time limit when you fish. Anyway, I convinced him that I could cast the line successfully through the pine boughs, but I was WRONG! I caught his line on a pine bough. In vain I tried to free the line. I worked on it for some time to no avail. The only solutions I could think of was to cut the line and put on a new hook or get in the lake and yank it off the bough. Thomas did not like either idea. The former solution was even more to his dislike. He had a solution. While I stood with his fishing pole, "Just trust me, Mom," is what he persistently said. He went into the woods and came back dragging a big branch. "What are you going to do with that?" I asked. "I am going to make a bridge." He proceeded to place the branch in the water. I told him he would sink to the bottom. "Just trust me," is all he said. Then he began to step on the branch. "STOP!" I proclaimed. "Are they your only shoes for the week?" "Yes." "Well, you have to take off your shoes if you are going in the water. I don't want pond scum on them for the rest of the week." He willingly took them off and cautiously stepped onto the branch while I held him with one hand and the fishing pole in the other hand. "Mom, bend over some more." he said. I was already in a very precarious position to bend over more was very unsettling. Thomas was able to get to the first pine bough, the second pine bough, but not the third pine bough which was the bough the hook was attached. He came back to the shore and then told me he had another idea. I was hoping he saw the light and would let me cut the line. This idea never entered his head. Rather he was going to get "help." "HELP?!" Where were we going to get help? It was just us and God out there. No one was around. No one to be seen or heard. Yes, there were fisher men on the lake -- all the way on the other side of the lake. No where near our spot. I doubt they would have heard us if we cried out. "Just trust me, Mom," is all he kept saying. "I know. I can pray." He squeezed his eyes real tight and his hands just as tightly. Then he said, "Amen." I said, "Amen," too. Immediately after that we heard a sound behind us. It was somewhat surprising. I'm sure my face must have relayed that because a man with his dog said, "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to scare you." I said, "Oh, no!" Then I started telling him our predicament. He came up and offered to help us. I had to hold his big dog on a leash while he took the pole from me. Before he tried to help he turned to Thomas and said, "This is important to you. Isn't it?" Thomas in shock look up at him and shook his head yes. "Don't worry. I'll get the line back for you." On his first attempt the line was free. Amazingly, we looked at him. "Praise the Lord!" I said. He turned to me and repeated, "Praise the Lord is right." Extending his hand to me he said, "Hi, I'm John." With much gratefulness we thanked him. He took his dog and started to walk towards the trail and out of sight. Thomas quietly came close to me and whispered, "I think that man was an angel." "Funny, I was thinking what you just said."
After trying three other spots for fishing, we ended up back at the dock. When the trip was all over and we reached our cabin, Thomas joyfully said to me, "Mom, tell Dad about the angel we saw." Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Proverbs 3:5

Wednesday, June 27, 2012


I want to wish you a Happy July 4th and recommend a great book. Lives of the Signers of the Declaration. The original book was written in 1848.
You can find this book on along with many other fine finds.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Things to See and Do at or near Wellsboro, PA

Descriptions: The country version of Pep Boys; barbeque; swim; nature walks; painting of stalactites and stalagmites at Penn's Cave; fishing; s'mores; Andrew & Heidi in a photo op at the Grand Canyon of PA; Frank and Thomas before the descent of the PA Grand Canyon; feed "Chip;" Pizza Hut; The Rockwell Museum of Western Art in Corning, NY; roasting marshmallows; The Corning Museum of Glass; Penn's Cave; Rails-to-Trails 62-mile trail through Pine Creek, PA; Leonard Harrison State Park also referred to as "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania"

Nature on Vacation

We saw all kinds of wild life. This may sound crazy, but we wanted to see a black bear. We did at Penn's Cave, but it was in a cage. Photo descriptions from left to right/top to bottom: Thomas fishing at the lake in Hills Creek State Park; Elk at Penn's Cave; daisy on our rails-to-trails walk at Pine Creek; mountain lion at Penn's Cave; grey squirrel in its black phase (not so common where we live, but fairly common more north); "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania" at Leonard Harrison State Park; "Chip" our newest friend. He would greet us each morning at the cabin. He would take little peanuts out of the girl's hands and store them in his cheeks. Here he is eating a chip.

Vacation Pictures

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This is a collage of our vacation to Wellsboro, Pennsylvania. Photos from left to right/top to bottom: Thomas in the pool. What a fish!; Leonard Harrison State Park a/k/a "The Grand Canyon of Pennsylvania;" Claire with a s'more; Andrew by the camp fire. He makes the best and fastest camp fires; The entire family; me with my man; Heidi and Thomas in a restaurant in Corning, New York

Monday, May 21, 2012

TEDxAustin Robyn O'Brien 2011

Do you ever wonder why there are so many allergies to food today? Watch this video and find out why.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Herb Peddler is Back

The Herb Peddler is back and has added some new herbs and a helper.
She did a lot of research and typed up her little blurbs. They both made money thanks to our nice neighbors and daddy's funding.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Flawless Performance

 Performance of April from "The Seasons" by Tchaikovsky.  The only thing flawed is the photographer.

Off with the Old and On with the New

Few of us notice this act of nature that happens every spring.  Have you ever noticed during a rainy or overcast day how the green looks so lush?  It noticeably stands out, which leads to my next thought. . . .  Do I stand out as a Christian?  Oh that the world may know my Jesus by my life! 

Praise God for the beauty I behold in His creation!

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Interesting Photos

This next photo is the same as the one above only turned upside down.  Doesn't it look like a sunset over rippling water?  You have to use your imagination.