Archive | December 2008

The Christmas Tree Lucas Made

Yesterday was a VERY special day in my life that I want to share with you. This day is about "Mimi" (me), and my grandson, Lucas. Lucas just turned three years old in August. This child has been the apple of my eye, and Poppy's eye, since he was born. We are amazed as we watch his mind and his body develop as he learns and grows so fast! And now we have our first little grand-daughter, Ava Grace who is soooooo sweet!

But yesterday was about me and Lucas, so back to this special day. But first, I guess I need to back up a little and explain to you why each thing that Lucas does and says fills me with so much awe. I just cannot remember each one of these special things that our own boys did. You see, I was 23 and 24 years old when our sons Matt, and Andy were born. They are so precious and we love them so much, and they have grown up to be loving Christian men! Oh my, we are so very blessed!

I was a young, 23 year old when we had to move from our hometown. Matt was 10 months old, and I was pregnant with Andy. My Mother and Steve's Mother had been helping me so much to adjust to a new baby and being sick with a new one, and all of the sudden we were moving. We were moving three hours away to a town where I knew no one. This move was not our choice – my husband was being transferred, and we had to move or loose his job, which we could not afford to do. It was a good job, and a nice raise, but I would have gladly stayed home with the family and friends I loved and needed so much. I think that even though we doted on our children, and loved them dearly, those years were very hard for me, especially.

My Loving, doting husband was tied down with a new job with lots of responsibility, and I was just starting to not feel quite like myself anymore. Stress was starting to show its ugly head in my life. (It was just a few years later, at 28 yrs old that fibromyalgia and chronic fatigue hit). But these younger years were filled with a young baby who had colic so badly that I had to get up 5 to 8 times every night with him, and a pregnancy where i was sick – very sick – for the nine months. I feel robbed, I feel as though those years were taken away from me because I just cannot remember all of the special things that our little boys learned as they grew up.

When I look back to these years and try to remember each special milestone in our boys lives, the memories are just not there like I want them to be, so Lucas is filling that need in my life as I watch each and every step he takes toward growing into a little boy. These are wonderful, joyful steps to watch. And I'm sure any grandmother will probably tell you the exact

same thing.  Ok, now back to yesterday. I picked up Lucas (or Gucas – as he calls himself sometimes) at play school at noon. I had special plans for us after his most favorite lunch which is a peanut butter sandwich, potato chips, and an apple. Oh, and I guess I must confess, he didn't get his apple, he wanted two reeses cups instead, and Mimi gave in. So, as soon as lunch was over, I told L we had a

special project in my shop that he could make for Mommy and Daddy for Christmas.  We, or Lucas, made them a table Christmas tree. In the picture above, you'll see L "fluffin" the stem with colored berries, and fake candy. (Look at the cute Christmas Tree stamp on his hand.) Lucas loved the special "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer" which was chosen to be at the top and center of his special Christmas

Tree.  Making this tree with Lucas was so much fun. He knew exactly what he wanted to use in this creation. And he also knew exactly where he wanted everything to go. He was very particular about this. It had to have the stuffed Rudolph, stems of candy and berries, candy canes, candy striped balls, and ribbons. But to top it all off – and this was totally Lucas' idea, we had to have a frog, three birds, five

ladybugs, and three bumblebees. I feel like I am calling out the words to a "Partridge in a Pear Tree" here! lol  Lucas is SO proud of this tree and immediately upon his Mom's arrival, brought her into the kitchen with a "Ta-Da" and a wave of his arm, as if he was introducing something marvelous. (And he really was!)

 Here "Mommy" and Ava are beside the beautiful Christmas tree. And Sara was so very impressed that her young son had done this for her! Oh, by the way, Sara has a wonderful blog.  She is really an exceptional writer!  If you would like to check it out, here is the address: .      

You can read more about Matt and Sara, and lots more about Lucas and Ava.  You'll see many, very sweet pictures as well!. I look forward to enjoying many more years of watching and cherishing Ava and Lucas grow, and learn. I hope I won't forget each of these special memories. I pray that they will stay with me for the rest of my years. So, when I say to people on my website, and on my blog, and on the phone that with my videos, anyone can learn to make an arrangement in two hours, they certainly can. If my three-year old grandson (although especially exceptional) can make this wonderful tree, then I know you can design anything you set your mind to! Smiles…. "Mimi"   


I have been meaning to write for a long time about Nana.  And, well today just seems like the right time.

Nana is my husband's Mother. and I consider her to be the matriarch of our family.  You know, the one everyone wants to be like, the one we look up to, and the one we admire so very much.  Our Nana is 85 years young.  And when I say young, I mean it.  Nana has more strength – mentally, and physically that I can only hope and pray to possess. 


Since I married her son 36 years ago, my goal has been to become the same type of mother-in-law to my son's wives as she has been to me.  I'm sure I'm not measuring up to her, but it's nice to have such a loving, sweet Christian woman with such a giving heart to strive to be like.



This is Nana in the picture above meeting her very first Granddaughter, Ava.  So very precious!

Nana just happens to be the best cook EVER!! 

Her hometown is Iva, South Carolina, and in this small town, everyone knows
"Nana" will be there with food whenever they need it. 
When they have bake sales at her hometown church, all of her goodies such as cakes,
cookies, banana breads, etc. are reserved and sold before she even arrives with them.

So… I have decided it would be nice to start posting Nana's recipes from time to time on my blog. 
These are just too wonderful not share them with the rest of the world.

The first recipe I want to share with you is:

Nana's "First Place, Award Winning – SWEET POTATO SURPRISE CAKE !"



This Sweet Potato Cake was the Grand Prize Winner at "Depot Days" in Iva, SC in 2007. 

Nana always has entries in these festivals which come in First Place, or at least Second Place. 
She was not able to enter this year because of a serious fall. 
She was walking on her treadmill and fell off dislocating both shoulders. 
That was four months ago,  and she is back at home, but needs your prayers to fully recover. 
This has been very traumatic for a woman who is as involved as she is in her church, and her hometown.
So… Please… Won't you Pray for our "Nana"!




OK, I know you're waiting on pins and needles for this wonderful recipe so here it is:


Sweet Potato Surprise Cake:

1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 2 cups sugar 4 eggs – separated 4 Tablespoons hot water 2 1/2 cups cake flour – sifted 3 teaspoons baking powder 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg 1 1/2 cups grated raw sweet potatoes 1 cup chopped nuts 1 teaspoon vanilla

Combine cooking oil, sugar and beat well.  Add egg yolks and blend well.  Add hot water then the dry ingredients which have been sifted together.  Stir in grated potatoes, nuts, and vanilla and beat well.  Beat the egg whites until stiff and fold into mixture.  Bake in 3 greased 8" layer pans (she puts down a wax paper liner), and bake at 350  D. for 25 – 30 minutes.  Let layers cool good before frosting.



1 lg. and 1 sm. can of evaporated milk 1 teaspoon vanilla 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 1/2 sticks margarine 3 egg yolks 1 3/4 cups coconut

Combine milk, sugar, margarine, egg yolks and vanilla in a sauce pan.  Cook over medium heat about 10 or 12 minutes, stirring constantly until mixture thickens.  Remove from heat and add coconut.  Beat and let it get almost cold and it will spread better.

The ironic part is that, since I have Celiac disease, and am allergic to wheat, I have never been able to taste this cake.  But I can tell you that it smells absolutely scrumptious, and everyone wants more and more – one piece of this cake is NEVER enough!


Thank you Nana for loving me and welcoming me with such love into your family when I married you son!

I love you Deeply!       Nancy