Archives for November 2013

Veteran’s Day 2013

Veterans DayVeteran’s Day is upon us again. I have seen many many posts on Facebook mentioning it. Radio commercials, television, church services. I’m guessing it all means something different to everyone. Each veteran has his or her understanding of what it means to be a veteran. Mother’s and Fathers and brothers and sisters and aunts, uncles and cousins know what it means to have a family member serving. Husband’s and Wives and children who sacrifice having to “do it all alone” while their service member is away.

POW braceletA few of you out there might remember these. I was in high school during the Viet Nam war. During that coming of age time, what we knew was that it was very very bad and young men were often terrified of the draft. I believe for a $2.00 donation you would get a bracelet of a POW (Prisoner of War) and wear it until they came home…no matter how they came home. Mine was Robert Abbott, and he was from our area. My soldier came home and I remember sending the bracelet back to him.

Many many of my family members have served in the military, and I will say I am very proud of them. I am proud of the family members who were brave enough to let them go. As a mom, I was so grateful it was not war time when my son was of age. My nephew is now serving in Germany, and again, while I am incredibly proud of this young man, the Mom in me is a little scared, and the mental health professional, a little more scared, as I have heard the stories of what these service people have endured as they fight for our freedoms.

DSC_0882My Dad, Father- in -Law and brother- in law were in the Army. Both my Dad and Father- in- Law were in Korea. My mother -in -law often talks of how hard that year he was gone was. No phones, emails or texts….communication was by letter. My Uncle and cousin served in the Navy. I am pretty sure my Uncle Al probably also was in Korea.  My brothers father- in- law was in the Air Force. My cousin Daron served in the Marines and did several tours in Afghanistan. He is forever changed. There are so many, to0 mention, and forgive me for any member I have forgotten. Men and women are still going off to serve and we all need to understand the TRUE sacrifice it is. When you are in the military, you belong to them and your family belongs to them, and they make the rules. Not all of us would be tough enough to endure that. So if you know a veteran, or a soldier, thank them. Thank their families. Help their families. It would be much appreciated.



Veterans Day photos 3Left to right, my brother-in-law Kyle, my nephew Robert James Patten III, Terry Wolfel, and my Dad, Robert James Patten Sr. Below, my cousin Daron, my Uncle Albert and

my cousin Carl Patten.

Uncle AlbertDaronCarl Patten


The Power of Prayer

Jackie and Girls

Today’s post is a turn from our usual lighter side, but I felt I had to make this plea for prayers for family.  I believe in the power of prayer and I am asking that you please pray for my sister-in-law and two nieces.  They are visiting her family in the Philippines and are now directly in the path of Typhoon Haiyan.  My brother-in-law has not heard from them since Wednesday.

Here is his latest post from Facebook:

“I’ve heard nothing from my wife and the girls or from any of their family in Samar since Wednesday.

Last I knew, they were going to be at exactly the worst place in the Philippines they could be, in Samar, where “Meteorologists say that if initial estimates based on satellite images are borne out, it could be the most powerful storm ever to make landfall,” and where “sustained winds were up to 314 km/h (195 mph), with gusts up to 379 km/h (235 mph).”

Save the Children Philippines director Anna Lindenfors predicted a high casualty rate.

“We expect the level of destruction caused by Typhoon Haiyan to be extensive and devastating, and sadly we fear that many lives will be lost,” she said in a statement. “Perhaps the greatest wind damage any city on Earth has endured from a tropical cyclone in the past century”.

Please pray for their protection and all of those that will be affected by this powerful storm.  Also, please pray for my brother-in-law, that he may have the strength he needs to get through the waiting and that he would hear from them soon.

In Matthew 18:20 (NIV) it says, “For where two or three gather in my name, there am I with them.”

The last I checked, we had 167 blog followers and I know that if together, we lift up this family to God in prayer, He will be there.





Pumpkin Angel Food Cake


This is a wonderful light fall dessert. There are a couple of different ways you can create this. Here is the original recipe!


1 box (1 lb) Betty Crocker white angel food cake mix

1 tablespoon all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp pumpkin pie spice

3/4 cup canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)

1 cup cold water

Ginger Cream Filling

2 cups whipping cream

1/4 cup powdered sugar

2 tablespoons finely chopped crystallized ginger

1. Move oven rack to lowest position. Heat oven to 350 degrees. In extra-large glass or metal bowl, beat cake ingredients with electric mixer on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium speed 1 minute. Pour into ungreased 10-in angel food cake pan.

2. Bake 37 to 47 minutes or until crust is dark golden brown and cracks are dry. Immediately turn pan upside down onto heatproof funnel or glass bottle. Let hang about 2 hours or until cake is completely cool. Loosen cake from side of pan with knife or long metal spatula. Turn cake upside down onto serving plate.

3. In chilled large bow, beat whipping cream and powdered sugar with electric mixer on high speed until stiff. Fold in ginger. Cut cake horizontally in half to make 2 even layers. Spread half of the filling on bottom layer; replace top of cake. Spread remaining filling on top of cake. Sprinkle with additional pumpkin pie spice if desired.

Okay…I was pretty sure the family would not like the ginger filling, so I just used light cool whip. And I just left the cake as it was and let people add cool whip. The picture is Jen’s version of the cake that she did for a family get together. She also used cool whip. This was a very light and fluffy cake. The pumpkin seems to change the texture. It was great. Hope you enjoy!!




DIY Cozy Rice Heating Pad

Recently I have been going to physical therapy for a back injury and as part of my visit, I lay on a giant heating pad that covers my whole back and it feels wonderful!  I decided to try to recreate this DIY, cozy, rice heating pad at home.   I like the idea of a portable heating pad, instead of one you plug in, so you don’t have to worry about finding a plug or falling asleep and burning yourself.

I was able to whip up the one below in an afternoon.  (If the sewing part of this project scares you, trust me, you can do it!  I have VERY minimal sewing skills and even had to get the manual out to re-teach myself how to use my sewing machine!  If I can do it, anyone can!)











This heating pad is large and kind of heavy and bulky, but I love how it covers my whole back.    I found this fleece material on the remnant rack at my local craft store.  It is so soft and cozy!   If you need a smaller heating pad for a more isolated area, you can make a smaller one like this:








I have even made tiny ones to heat up if my kids have an ear infection. It feels nice to lay one that has been lightly heated by the sore ear.

For the DIY Cozy Heating Pad You will need:

-rice (The amount depends on how large your heating pad is.  For the large size I used two large bags of rice. The smaller one uses 3/4 to one bag of rice.)

-a sturdy cotton material for the rice

-fleece for the case (You could use any material for this, but I like fleece because it is so soft and cozy.)

*I usually shop the remnant isle for the material because it is super cheap and you don’t need a large amount of material to make these.

-sewing machine

-thread color of your choice


1.For the inside case, use the sturdy cotton material.  Fold the material in half so you only have to sew three edges.  Fold and pin the edges and then sew three edges shut like a pillow case and  leave a small opening at the top of the case to fill it with rice.

2. Fill the case with rice and sew shut (Make sure it is sewn securely shut or you will have a mess!).  You can sew inside or outside seams, depending on whether you want them to show.  I didn’t really care how fancy mine looked, so I sewed the seams from the outside.  If you don’t want them to show, you can turn the material inside out and sew the seams, then turn it back right side out when you are done. Another alternative for this would be to sew the large one into 4 separate compartments for the rice. This would stop the rice from sliding back and forth through the whole pack. You would just leave an opening in each section to pour rice in and then sew it up!

My large inside pad case looks like this:









**You could also add 1-3 drops of essential oil such as lavender to the rice and your heating pad will smell nice when you heat it in the microwave

3. For the fleece cover, if you want a nice finished edge, you can sew a seam around the edge that will be open (not sewn) before sewing the sides together. Once you have hemmed the edge of the fleece, fold it in half, pin the edges and sew two sides together leaving the third side open(the one you hemmed) like a pillow case.  It is nice to make a case for the rice bag so you can remove it to wash.

4. Slide the rice bag into the fleece case and you now have a cozy, portable heating pad!

I usually heat the small one in the microwave for about 2 minutes (the time will depend on your microwave) and the large one took about 6 minutes with me taking it out and rotating it every 2 minutes.

This heating pad will sooth all of your aches and pains or  just warm you up on a cold winter night!