The Cold Roast Beef Sandwich

The cold roast beef sandwich might be popular with some, but not with this girl.  This sandwich often made its way into my “Welcome Back Kotter” metal lunch pail.  My dear mother was a good steward of every bit of food in the refrigerator.  Spying last nights roast beef, she lovingly made me a sandwich and put it in my lunch pail.  This sandwich started out cold, but then slowly from 7:30 am on, made it’s way up to room temperature. And room temperature roast beef is just gross.  What child in their right mind wants to eat room temperature roast beef?  I sure didn’t! Continue reading

How to Host Without Complaining

Thanksgiving is just around the corner and we’ll soon have family and friends around the table. So I asked my friend, Sue Donaldson to share a little about hospitality

Hospitality is Hard: How to Host Without Complaining

Continue reading

Appreciation of Cheese

I appreciate cheese.  Glorious Cheese!  I can’t imagine my day without it.  In fact, being from Wisconsin and loving cheese go hand in hand.  When you have your baby in a Wisconsin hospital, the pacifier the baby receives in the hospital nursery is made of cheese. Okay… just kidding there.  I wanted to see if you are paying attention to what I am writing.  But seriously, cheese is a big deal. Continue reading

together again

Together Again

Together Again

You enjoyed our story page so we decided to do another post together. These are actually fun for us too since we live 1,411 miles apart. There have been many times we wish we could be together in the same place to share a cup of tea or coffee.

First, let’s tell a bit more of our stories.

We are both committed Christians and serve the Lord with all our hearts. So we thought it would be nice to share our personal testimonies. How we became sisters together in Christ.

MICHELE:  I have to give credit to Mrs. DeYoung, Orange Kool-aide and Grahm Crackers. Ok, so you’re probably laughing, but seriously…Mrs. DeYoung taught 5 Day Club and the after school Child Evangelism program. She asked one day if anyone wanted to invite Christ into their life and I raised my hand.  Afterward and she asked me “why?” I wanted this salvation.  I told her because I wanted to stop fighting with my brother.  She said that was a good place to start but she was getting at the part that I needed a savior because I am a sinner- thus the reason I wanted him for stopping the fighting :).  Man… faith as a child is so simple, isn’t it?!  Then from there life kinda just rolled along until I had some hard family stuff and as I senior in high school I made a public confession of my faith.  God was very real to me as I struggled with what was going on. But mostly the most pivotal point in developing a relationship with Christ was going through infertility treatments, followed by the adoption of our daughter Gabrielle and then the move to Minnesota.  As believers, we are never done growing, stretching and rediscovering.  I am a piece a work!  A work in progress! Amen.

MANDY:  I have a great heritage of Christian parents and grandparents that extend at least five generations. In ’71, my grandfather passed from this world. It was that summer at family camp, Sebring Holiness Camp, That I heard a fire and brimstone sermon. I was 9 or 10 at the time. My friend and I had spent most of the week sitting in the back on the tabernacle. There was a rotation of evangelists and the one this night was not our favorite. But this final night on a hot July Sunday, I learn that hell was a real place and just because my parents knew Christ and I went to church every Sunday, did not save me from my own sin. IT may have been that death had become a real thing to me since grandpa was really the first death in the family that I experienced. It might have been that I just didn’t want to go to a fiery hell. Either way, I stepped out of the bench in the back and walked down to an altar and prayed for Jesus to be Lord of my life. And that was the “End of the Beginning” for me! Since then I have re-committed myself to the Lord a couple different times but this was the day I got saved. I have moved forward with God ever since that day. Attending Christian college, really confirmed my decision. It was the place that my parents’ religion became my faith. You can read more on my memoirs blog.

Favorite Vacation Place

Alright, suppose we were to plan a vacation together. Where would you suggest that we go? What are your favorite get-away places?

MICHELE:  There are so many cool places to go. The Rockies! The Florida Keys or a cabin in the Black Hills!  I love nature, its quiet beauty.  Let’s just sit and be quiet, have a great lunch, talk about some good reads.  Discuss what may be challenging us in our life and walk with Christ and have great conversations around verses in the bible that have meant so much to us.

MANDY: The mountains! our family usually run to a cabin in the mountains whenever we are able to get away. It is so beautiful there and such a relaxing place. Gatlinburg/Pigeon Forge is most common for us. However, we have loved a chance to go to Branson as well. Both places are very family oriented.

THIS OR THAT GAME

Shopping – in-store or online?

MICHELE: I do lots of shopping online.  But I love, love, love to clearance shop at Kohls!  I wish they had a food court so you could get a quick bite and then back at bargain hunting!

MANDY: Definitely online! I didn’t get the shopping gene that is prominent in the women of our family. Perhaps because my mom took me with her and I would always get so tired. (Probably the  beginnings of chronic illness). Or perhaps because of the time Mom left a cart full of items at the cashier’s because they wouldn’t accept a check for over $100. How embarrassing!

Museum or movie theater?

MICHELE:  Museum.  I just enjoy looking, thinking and being in my husband’s company and not having to talk- which I am sure he so appreciates!

MANDY: I like the museums too. Just walking and looking with my husband is wonderful. When Mike and I pastored in Milwaukee we enjoyed a myriad of museums from history to art to children’s museums. On Mondays, most of them were free to the public. We took a lot of Mondays to go stroll through them. I loved to just walk and read the informative plates. Awesome.

Guitar or piano?

MICHELE:  Love piano.  Took lessons for a good year or two.  I still love to plunk around just for myself.

MANDY: It depends on if I am playing or listening. As a youth, I spent hours on end playing the piano. I had to give me my pianos in this last move because we had to downsize extremely. I so miss the piano but I do get to occasionally play the piano at church with the praise team. Playing the piano releases stress for me. However, so does listening to my daughter play her guitar. She would sit in her room and play her music. I miss that now that she is married.

And now, What you’ve been waiting for … The Giveaway

prize give away

pine slice ornament created by Michele will customize if desired.

Christmas GiveAWay Stocking

Pair of Crocheted Decorative Christmas Stockings made by Mandy

The Winners are Melissa Henderson and Kathy Dawson. Congratulations!

 

Mandy & Michele

image created by jfredrickdesign

from generation to generation

From Generation to Generation

Memories of Generations

One of my earliest memories is a sleep-over at my grandparents. I remember standing at Grandma’s knee while she crocheted a yellow hat for my dolly. I can still taste the frozen tart applesauce made from the apples in her yard. But my favorite memory is the nighttime devotions. A plastic loaf of bread held tiny cards printed with Scripture promises. I chose one card, then sat as close to Grandma as I could. With her arm around me, she whispered word by word, so I could “read” the verse.

It was the beginning of a legacy – the love of God and His Word. Before I was a week old, my parents took me to church, and faithfully continued to make sure I was taught the Word by Sunday School teachers and pastors. On an everyday basis, we looked to Scripture for guidance in our home.

Passing the Faith Along

My favorite parenting verses are found in Deuteronomy 6: Continue reading

Movie Review: Breathe

What a beautifully, inspiring movie!

“Breathe” is an inspiring true story. After being paralyzed by polio at age 28, Robin Cavendish refuses to be immobile and with his loyal wife, Diana, becomes an advocate for the severely disabled. “Breathe” is the feature-film directing debut of actor Andy Serkis.

I love to see how others have made their way through trials. And this movie fast became a great biography. Celebrating the lives of ones who made a huge difference for the severely disabled. So many good takeaways from the movie. The first being, “Don’t sell yourself short. Your life isn’t useless.” And then especially the loyalty and commitment of his wife and other friends. We can all learn something from this life.

Deeply Touching

“Breathe” deeply touched my heart by the determination of Robin and Diana to never give up. Even though things seemed hopeless or they had no one backing them, they moved forward and made things happen. In the end, they helped countless severely disabled people have a fulfilling life instead of one of depression with no hope.

This movie also gently spoke of allowing terminally ill patients the privilege of dying on their own terms but not only that but also that a change of venue can bring an amazing change of view on one’s viewpoint of life for the severely disabled. Each life has value and should be treated that way. It isn’t right to put people away from view in a hospital ward just because they are severely handicapped. We should be doing whatever we can to make life better for them.

In the end, Robin chose to end his life because his body could not take any more from artificial breathing. But he lived a fulfilling life for twenty years. His son got to know him and love him. He was able to die gracefully with his family nearby without a traumatic ending.

I was spellbound by this movie, cheering at times and crying at other times. Beautifully done.

Definitely a MUST SEE FILM.

Inspiring Must See Movie - Breathe Click To Tweet
of cats and brownies

Kitchen Cat-astrophes

Kitchen catastrophes.  We’ve all had them.  Some of us keep them as secret as an FBI file and others of us publish them.  So today reader, you are witness to my confession.  I stand in my pantry and solemnly swear upon my 1963, twelfth printing of the “Good Housekeeping Cookbook”, to tell you the truth, and nothing but the whole truth, so help my KitchenAid standing mixer. Continue reading

31 Days with Mandy and MIchele

Mandy and Michele – Our Story

Sharing Our Story

The Five Minute Friday (FMF) crew is challenging us to write every day in October. We hope to give you a good taste of all the different things we want to share over time. We thought today would be a good time to share our story. Typically, we will only write once or twice a week at most. However, this month, there will be more than the usual number of posts but, fear not, we will send you only one newsletter a week.

FMF is offering a prompt each day to give us a kickstart.

Today’s prompt is STORY.

So we thought we would give you a little more about the Mandy and Michele story. We both came up with a few questions you might enjoy asking us. We will present a question and then both of us will answer.

Here’s the Story in interview form!

Where did you grow up? Tell us something about your childhood.

Mandy: I am the 3rd of 6 children (3girls and 3 boys), born in Canton, Ohio and spent the first years of my life on the family dairy farm in Louisville, Ohio, just south of Canton. At the age of 13, we moved to Wisconsin, cows and all. Though I didn’t admit it at the time, I loved the farm and the animals dearly. You can read all about my farm life by clicking the image to the right which will take you to my memoirs site, Raised in a Barn. I attended Asbury College (now University) and then took a computer job in Columbia, SC.

Michele: I grew up in the tiny town of Friesland, Wisconsin.  It was a very unique town.  I lived directly across from the stockyard and the cheese factory with a dairy farm behind us two blocks down- mind you this is ALL IN TOWN.  Spent a great deal of my time bicycling around town, playing on and around the railroad tracks( my mother has earned her gray hair) and the summer highlight, every Tuesday night a Band Concert in the town square complete with pie and ice cream!

Tell us a little about your family. Married? Children? Grandkids?

Mandy: My husband, Michael and I were introduced by my pastor’s wife, Charlotte. Michael had recently lost his wife and a daughter in a terrible car accident. Mrs. Charlotte prayed about him and his boys and she said the Lord told her that I was to be his new wife. Michael was a pastor in her hometown, Barnesville, GA. After much pleading, I finally agreed to go meet Michael. (so that Charlotte would quit bothering me about it). Well … That’s all it took. We were married four months later! I took his two pre-teen boys as my own and later we had another boy and a girl. They are all grown now, ages 22-44. Three of them live here in Savannah, GA and the other in Apple Valley, Minnesota. We have one grandson.

Michele: Brad and I met at a football game.  We were from rival schools.  I was a cheerleader he was a football player.  We married the summer of his Senior year of college.  I have an Associate Degree in Applied Sciences, Veterinary Technician.  We have one grown daughter.  I am too young to be a grandmother.

How did the two of you meet?

Mandy: Michele’s husband Brad and I met through church growing up in Wisconsin. Brad’s family and mine both moved to Wisconsin about the same time. They were dairy farmers, too. And the kids were all about the same age so we connected easily as a whole family. We re-connected again about four years ago on Facebook! Michele and I became fast friends as we both have been going through some tough trials in recent years.

Michele:  My daughter had been in a four-wheeler accident while we were visiting family and was Med-Flighted.  Through this accident, I reconnect with Mandy as I had asked for prayers for our daughters’ recovery.

When/Why did you decide to write?

Mandy: God works in mysterious ways. I was never much of a writer. Though encouraged to do so, I was reluctant to keep a journal. (Something I regret not doing). So like I say, I didn’t consider myself a writer. On my first writing assignment in College Composition, I received an F. But I had an awesome professor, Dr. Ralph Joly and he worked with me until I got it figured out … kinda. Anyway, he said I was his most improved student. Still, I never thought I would pick up a pen to write much more than a check. After Chronic Illness hit and my husband lost his position at the church, I was challenged to write for this same October 31 Day Writing Challenge in which I wrote about my illness. That was the start of something brand new and amazing.

Michele: I have wanted to write since 1992.  Mostly I write or journal for myself, but two years ago I felt like I need to develop my skills and see this as a perfect opportunity to do so.

Why blog together?

Mandy:  Two are better than one. Michele mentioned she wanted to start writing. I offered that she could write on my blog, Leaving a Legacy anytime she so desired. I’ve been slowing down some and was thinking about recreating myself, so why not do this together and split the cost since we seem to have a lot in common.

Michele:  I am so appreciative that Mandy has brought me under her wing to show me the ropes.  Excellent mentor and friend.  Great opportunity to offer each other encouragement and positive critiquing.

THIS OR THAT game

1. Tea or Coffee?

Mandy: Tea, occasionally a cup of coffee

Michele: Coffee straight up… kicks off the day… let productivity begin!

2. pie or cake?

Mandy: hmmm.. Yes, a la mode, please.

Michele: This is totally unfair… I will take both, please. Cherry alamode, Chocolate with white frosting… you know the frosting made with butter and powdered sugar. Oh… put some ice cream on the cake too… Dairy is never too far from this Wisconsin girl’s heart.

3. cats or dogs

Mandy: It’s hard to say. I’ve always been a lover of the larger animals like horses and cows. Michael never wanted to have pets either so we never did.

Michele: I am a Vet. Tech… love them ALL!  Pass on snakes and such… love them from a distance. 🙂

 

Alright then, that’s about it for now. Feel free to ask more questions in the comments. Never know we might give you more answers. 🙂

Mandy & Michele

image created by jfredrickdesign

favorite cookbooks

Kitchen Adventures

Adventures Ahead

I look forward to taking you on my interesting and fun kitchen adventures!  We will explore things like making kefir water, sourdough starter.   Kitchen product reviews.  Interviews with some of the areas talented cooks and bakers.  Plus I will demystify cooking and baking techniques and terms.  All delivered to you in an easy to read, light-hearted manner.

On my recent trip to Wisconsin, I spent a good portion of my six and a half hour drive time thinking of topics to write to you about.    I finally settled on the topic of cookbooks.  Cookbooks evoke many fond memories for me.  I can open up my pie safe and pull each one out and tell you about their history.  History of how I got the cookbook, who may have given it to me, what I liked about the content of the cookbook and what recipes I liked or didn’t like. Continue reading

Recipes

Welcome to our kitchen!  We look forward to sharing with you recipes from near and far.  Along with venturing outside of everyday cooking and baking. We look forward to “cooking up” some great fun!