Family Prayer Board

Sometimes I think Pinterest has actually stolen any creativity I have left.  I see all these incredible ideas beautifully executed and I feel like my measure-once-cut-twice mentality doesn’t inspire anyone, including myself.

However, I wanted to make a family prayer board.  I had seen something on which prayer requests, written on sticky notes, could be displayed to remind us of our friends’ and family’s needs.  Today, I bought an 11″ by 14″ frame at the Dollar Store.

I brought it home and tried to find the pin among the 6000 plus pins on hundreds of boards.  Guess what?  I couldn’t find it.  I didn’t even know how to search for it.  I thought, “Hey, I was creative before Pinterest.  I was creative before the Internet.”  So, using the Internet (ha!) I found a wonderful photograph , which I printed.  The picture frame’s back was black, so I flipped it over, affixed the printout, and framed it.  Voila!  It is now ready to be prominently placed in our family room and our prayer requests and scriptures added.  Too bad I don’t have a decent photo of it to share.  I may use my fancy handwriting to add James 5:16 as a border, but for now I really love the clean lines.

Oddly Yours,

Jennifer

Family Chinese New Year Ideas

The Year of the Dragon

My son’s favorite holiday is Chinese New Year.  I’m not really sure how that happened or how he came to love all things Asian, but we’re always up to learning about anything and everything.  If we can involve food, all the better.

If your budget allows for more than a prepackaged bowl of ramen, here are some great recipes said to bring good luck.

Want to incorporate a little history into your celebration? Check out the History Channel’s page which includes traditions and symbols.

There are tons of fun crafts for you to do with your little ones.  www.onlykent.com has links to activities including free printables.

How about some everlasting fortune cookies?  I adore felt crafts and fortune cookies and take-out boxes. These, from www.Kaboose.com, are darling and can be done in a “pinch”.

The Year of the Dragon brings good luck and babies.  I don’t know about you, but I could use both this year!

Wishing your family a blessed Chinese New Year!

Jennifer

Auntie Judy’s Peanut Butter Cookies

My Aunt Judy loved to bake.  And sew and quilt.  And laugh.  I am missing her today.

I hadn’t set out to write about her.  It just happens to be National Peanut Butter day, and I love her flourless peanut butter cookies.

Aunt Judy was that aunt.  You know the one.  A bit rebellious.  The baby of the family.  (The favorite maybe.)  She was only 18 years older than I.

Even with her rebellious streak, family was extremely important to her.  She kept us together, organized the holidays, cooked, and was truly present not like so many of us who get distracted by making everything just so.

My parents divorced when I was in preschool, so I only saw her a few times a year when my dad would take me to family stuff.  Once I was in school, Aunt Judy would take me for a weekend here and there.  I saw her more than my dad even though she lived in another city.  I loved her long straight hair.  She was natural.  Earthy, you might say.

She loved antiques.  Her style was simple, yet eclectic.  I loved going to her apartment, which was a converted attic in an old house.  In her small living room was a wrought iron crib, filled with dolls new and old, and a teddy bear similar to the one she had brought me back from England.  She considered using this crib for her first baby, Brandon, who arrived 12 years and 1 week after I was born.  Brandon became my own live doll and visits became more frequent.

By the time I graduated high school, Aunt Judy was married to Eric and had Jonathan.  We would frequently get together on our own or at family gatherings.  I always knew how important I was to her.

In August 1998, she and her family were in a terrible car accident.  The boys, 13 and 8 at the time, survived.  Eric and Judy did not.

I think of her often.  I see her in her boys, now grown men.  I like to think that I’ve inherited her love of family and gift for bringing people together.  I know we shared a love for baking.

Here is one of the few recipes I have of hers.

Peanut Butter Cookies

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (I used brown sugar today; delish!)
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups peanut butter

Mix well and make into balls about the size of a walnut.  Crisscross with a fork (plastic works well) or press a chocolate kiss in the center.  Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.

Makes 3 dozen cookies.

Jennifer