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Posts Tagged ‘grandchildren’

Grandmother Pizza

The days are flying by quickly and soon Christmas will be here. This recipe is not "Christmasy" but might be something new for you to try after Christmas when you are ready for a change from your Christmas ham or turkey. If you look in the cloud list on the right side of my blog you will see that there are already quite a few recipes for pizza. When I first heard of this recipe I was intrigued because it sounded different from other pizza recipes. It contains very simple ingredients but makes a delicious pizza. It is a very easy dough to work with so it would be a good recipe for people who are intimidated by yeast dough.


Grandmother Pizza

3 Tbsps. olive oil, divided
3/4 cup warm water
1 1 /2 cups bread flour
1 Tbsp. yeast
1 tsp. sugar
3/4 tsp. salt

1 16 oz. can tomatoes, drained
1 Tbsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp. Italian seasoning
1/4 tsp. salt
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan

To make dough:
Coat a large rimmed cookie sheet with 2 Tbsps. of the olive oil then set aside. In mixing bowl combine flour, yeast, sugar, salt, 1 Tbsp. oil, and water. Knead about 5 minutes. Stretch the dough to a 10" x 6" rectangle on the prepared cookie sheet. (Do not try to stretch to fit the cookie sheet at this stage.) Cover with plastic wrap and let rise 1 to 1 1/2 hours. After this rise stretch to fit the pan and then let rise an additional 45 mins.
Heat oven to 450-500 degrees.

Combine drained tomatoes, oil, garlic, Italian seasoning, and salt. Combine cheeses and then sprinkle them onto the crust. Dot with the tomato mixture. Bake about 15 minutes or until cheese is starting to brown.

Here are some pictures of the two stages of the dough rising:

First rising:


Second rising:


Here are a couple of pictures of some Christmas elves who were here this week:




We are looking forward to celebrating Christmas next week with special services at church and times with friends and family. I pray that you and your families will have a blessed Christmas and look forward to posting again in the new year.


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Grandchildren update

One of the local grandchildren has a bad cold and unfortunately Rob and I seem to have caught it. We were commenting that if toddlers had ebola it would spread like wildfire.

It's been a while since I have posted much about the grandchildren so I thought I would do a little update. Drew, who is seven and in second grade called Rob one night and said a few phrases in French and sang a French song for us. His class was studying different cultures around the world and he wanted to share what he had been learning with us.


Maddie, who is two, had a hard fall at church a few weeks ago and badly sprained her knee. She spent several days lying on the couch with her leg propped on a pillow. She is normally a very active little girl so her parents knew she was really in quite a bit of pain. Thankfully she is back to normal now.


Ryan is three now and he, his dad, and Rob all went camping for one night recently. They had a beautiful weekend for it and all three of the guys enjoyed hiking, cooking over the open fire, and hanging out together.


He also loves music and he was thrilled one morning when Aunt Nora and little Della came by and Nora played the piano for him.


Avery is fifteen months old and is learning to communicate. She will repeat nearly anything you say to her and gets very frustrated if you can't tell what she's trying to say. She will often take me by the hand and lead me to what she wants to play with. She loves animals and enjoys playing with some animal magnets that we have. She also likes to toss all of her books behind the rocking chair and then sit back there and look at them.


Little Della is nine months old and is crawling and trying to pull herself up around the furniture now. She too has found her voice and can be quite vocal at times. Nora made her this cute little costume for Halloween. They had a dress up time at our local Farmer's Market this weekend so she got to try it out.



We are truly blessed by each of these children and are thankful for them and their parents.

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Update on the grandchildren

A few weeks ago our daughter Megan and granddaughter Maddie flew down and were here with us for a little over a week. Maddie was not quite two when they arrived so she could still fly for free. Megan's husband Jim and their son Drew drove down the following weekend so that Jim could attend a conference. And so we were able to spend time with them too. While they were all here visiting we were able to get the entire family together a couple of times. I had hoped to get all five of the grands together for a picture but it didn't happen. I thought I would post a few individual pictures of each of the children and tell about their interests and activities at the moment.

Drew is the oldest and he just turned seven. He is in first grade and is reading quite well. He got a basketball goal for his birthday so if the snow ever melts in Michigan I'm sure he will be practicing his shots. He also enjoys the Ninja Turtles and has quite a few of the little action figures. We got him some Ninja sheets for his birthday. While they were here we spent a day at the Children's Museum. Here he is looking at an exhibit about banking.


Maddie turned two while she was here visiting. She is very active, enjoys reading books and playing with her brother Drew. Her vocabulary really grew since we last saw her at Christmas. She keeps us entertained with her antics.

Here she is acting as secretary at the bank exhibit at the museum:


She woke up from her nap one afternoon with her shirt in this configuration:


Ryan will turn three next month. He loves music, letters, and numbers. He is a good singer and enjoys listening to music. He knows all of the letters of the alphabet and is learning to read a few words on his own. Below is a short video Mark sent us of Katie working with him on reading. The flash video will probably not show up in the e-mail or blog reader versions. You will have to go to this blog post to see it.

Avery is eight months old and is nearly always happy and smiling. She has recently discovered her voice and her feet. Why is it that babies want to put their feet in their mouths? She loves to stand and walk around the furniture. She does a dead man crawl at a pretty fast pace and loves to try to catch up with Buddy. She also just got her first tooth.


Little Della just turned two months old and now weighs nine pounds. She is starting to smile and coo and is sleeping at night for longer stretches of time, much to the delight of her parents.


She came over for dinner last week and we were able to coax her to smile for us.


We were able to get a picture of the three little girls wearing hats that DH Rob knit for them.


We are truly blessed.


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How to preserve the staff of life


We're in the midst of a winter storm here in South Carolina and the news has been reporting that the local stores are out of milk and bread. Fortunately we are pretty well stocked for this emergency since I bought some bread and buns and did quite a bit of baking last week in preparation for the arrival of Megan and Maddie. They flew in on Saturday when the weather was in the 60's.

Here is Maddie relaxing during the snowstorm by reading a book:


One of my favorite things about winter is being able to bake more. Baking helps to heat up the house and fresh breads often pair well with savory winter soups and stews. Since it's just the two of us here most of the time I generally bake a full batch of whatever I'm baking and then freeze most of it for future use. I have discovered that breads and buns stay nice and fresh for quite a while in the freezer if they are wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in a plastic storage bag. These hot dog buns had been in the freezer for nearly six months and were still soft and fresh tasting when wrapped and stored this way.


This recipe for French Bread makes two loaves. I like to slice one loaf in slices, butter them with garlic butter, and then package them in multiples of two. It's easy to just take out the number of slices needed for a meal and then toast them in the oven to help round out a meal.


I usually slice the second loaf horizontally and then freeze it for future meals of open faced ham sandwiches or French Bread Pizza. It's convenient to have these breads on hand for quick meals.


I tried a new recipe for this Carrot Onion Dill Bread recently and we both really liked it. I'm planning to use it later in the week for Grilled Cheese Sandwiches. We can enjoy those even if our power goes out.


Megan and Maddie have enjoyed meeting little Della.


Jim and Drew are driving down this coming weekend and we are planning a little birthday celebration for Maddie who turns two on Valentine's Day. It will be the first time all five cousins will be together and we hope we can get a picture.

What is your favorite thing to bake when it's cold and snowy outside?


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A quick trip

Here is a picture of Rob's mom that was taken 5-6 years ago.


My husband's mother's health is failing and she is under hospice care now. We were able to make a quick trip up to Ohio to visit with her over the weekend. We were overwhelmed by all the details that the Lord worked out to make this trip possible in the first place and by many unexpected blessings that occurred along the way.

It's normally very difficult for Rob to get away during the school year--it's hard to find subs who can teach French and German. He was given permission to be away and his colleagues graciously covered his classes on Friday. I normally keep my grandchildren every other Friday and last Friday was Grandma Cindy's turn to keep them.

On our way up Rob called his Aunt Janet in St. Louis and told her about our trip. Later that day she called back to say that she and her daughter Jodie had decided to drive to Ohio too. They couldn't come until Saturday because Jodie had to work on Friday.

We visited Rob's mom briefly on Thursday night. We weren't sure that it had actually registered that we were there, but the next day she did remember us coming in. We spent that night with Rob's sister and brother-in-law and had a nice visit with them. The next morning Rob and Deb were able to spend some time making future plans for their mother.

Friday afternoon we visited Rob's mom again and she was much more responsive and stayed awake a long time and seemed to really be enjoying having her children with her. Late that afternoon Rob and I headed up to spend the night with Megan and Jim and the children. It was a quick visit and we enjoyed every moment of it.

Maddie now loves to look at books and to have someone read to her:


We had a special breakfast of Dutch Girl Doughnuts which Drew highly approved of:


Saturday we headed back to the nursing home and Rob was able to spend some time with his mom, perhaps for the last time here on Earth. They had a good visit together and Rob was very thankful for this time.

Saturday night Janet and Jodie arrrived and we went out to supper at a local restaurant that all of us remembered from our youth--Wilsons. We thoroughly enjoyed our hamburgers and malts. We spent the night at the same motel and had a great time reminiscing.

After breakfast the next morning Rob and I started the loooonnng drive home and Deb, Janet, and Jodie went to visit Norma at the nursing home. It was the first time in many years that the two sisters had seen each other.

Here are Deb and Janet at breakfast:


Here are Rob and Jodie:


We are thankful we could make the trip, that we had beautiful weather, very little heavy traffic, good gas prices, wonderful care for Buddy :), and blessed fellowship with loved ones we don't get to see very often.

We would appreciate your prayers for Rob's mom in her final days here on Earth.


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