Friday, April 30, 2010

The Friday Five

When I graduated from high school, my parents gave me a beautiful Aromatic Cedar chest. It sits at the foot of my bed, and it holds some dear treasures. My husband made a cedar chest for our daughter as a Christmas present last year. She's already started putting treasures in it.

So, here are 5 things that are in my cedar chest.

1. Letters from my husband. When we were dating, we spent a summer apart. I was in Kansas working two jobs, and he was in northern Wisconsin as a boys' counselor at a Bible camp. It was a very long summer, and we exchanged a couple letters a week.

2. Curtain tiebacks and graduation memorabilia. The curtain tiebacks are actually gold braids that my husband and I wore at our graduations from college to signify graduating magna cum laude. There are also our college tassels. Pale blue, because we were both education majors.

3. Awana awards. My kids have been in the AWANA program for years, and each time they move up to a new club, I put their vest or uniform and old books in the cedar chest.

4. A blue coat. When I was a little girl, my grandmother made me a little satin-lined blue fuzzy coat. Actually, it looks a little cookie-monster-ish, but I LOVED it. And I loved that she made it.

5. A scrapbook. I once had to make a presidential election scrapbook as an assignment for government class. To date myself, I'll let you know, it was the Reagan/Mondale election and I was in high school.

So, do you have a cedar chest? What do you keep in it?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Thursday Recipe

Today's recipe is Peanut Buster Dessert.

Ingredients:

1 pkg. Oreo Cookies
1/2 c. Softened butter
1/2 gal. vanilla ice cream
1/1/2 c. Evaporated milk
3/2 c. semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 c. Powdered sugar
1/2 c. butter
1 tsp. vanilla
1 c roasted Spanish peanuts (not raw)

Crush oreos and mix with softened butter. (I've found the best way to do this is to put oreos in a freezer bag and mash with a rolling pin, then add butter and squish the bag until it's well mixed.) Press into a 9x13 pan. Refrigerate 1/2 hr. Soften the ice cream and spread over chilled crust. Put in the freezer. Mix all other ingredients except the peanuts and vanilla and bring to a boil in a saucepan. Boil for 8 minutes. Add vanilla. Cool slightly and pour over ice cream. Sprinkle with peanuts and return pan to the freezer. When the dessert is thoroughly frozen, slice and serve. It is DE-Lish!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Exciting News!


This past winter, our local Christian book store suffered a serious blow.  After a particularly heavy snow, a section of the roof collapsed, breaking the sprinkler system and pouring gallons of water into the store. The most heavily damaged area was the gift/artwork department. You can read more about it on the link below.

http://kaaltv.com/article/stories/S1383851.shtml?cat=10219

The bookstore has been a fixture on North Broadway for many years. When I first visited Rochester over twenty years ago, CB&G was in a house with little rooms filled with books, cassettes, church supplies...

Later they built the beautiful store in the photo above.

We're blessed in Rochester to have such a wonderful Christian Bookstore, and even though they've faced considerable challenges and growth, especially this latest catastrophe. I was so happy when word came out that they would be rebuilding and reopening the store.

As part of that reopening, Mary Connealy and I are going to be having a book-signing. If you're in the area Saturday, June 19th, please stop in. I'll be signing The Bartered Bride, The Marriage Masquerade, and my soon to be released Clara and the Cowboy. Mary will be signing her latest release The Wildflower Bride, as well as many of her other terrific books.

If you can't get to the book-signing, but you'd still like a signed copy of one of the books, please call (507) 289-2590 or (800) 937-1520, mention the upcoming book-signing, and pre-order the books. We'll sign them while we're there.

You can find Christian Book and Gift  on Facebook, and on the web at: http://www.christbk.com/home.asp

Mary and I are so happy to be part of the Grand Re-opening, and we hope to see you at the book-signing!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Tip for Tuesday

Today's tip is about Villains.

We love to hate villains. One of my favorite new shows is the FBI drama Criminal Minds. I've been watching reruns on ION television, and I started watching the new shows on Wednesdays on CBS.

The premise of the show: A group of FBI agents called the Behavioral Analysis Unit fly around the country and track down serial killers/violent criminals using profiling. One interesting thing to me is that though these criminals are sometimes sociopaths, more often there is usually some inciting incident in their lives or some experience they've had that sets them on the road to evil.

Which has me thinking about the bad guys in our fiction. We often spend lots of time with our heroes and heroines examining their backstory and their motivations. But what about our villains? Why are they the way they are? What is it that they want, and why do they want it?

We need to remember that there are very few true sociopaths (thankfully) in the world today. If you talk to many who might be considered villains, their behavior is, to them, rational, necessary, and only a means to get what they want.

Today's tip is: examine your villain's motives and make sure he's a well-fleshed out person. Give him a reason to do what he does, and give him some softer characteristic. My current villain is one by accident. His jealousy led him to do something that had far-reaching ramifications that he never intended. But once on this road, he can't seem to stop the avalanche he's started, and eventually, that one initial act will be his downfall.

Question for you: Are you creating believable villains? What tips do you have regarding writing bad guys?

Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Madness

Some days you're just dancing as fast as you can. This is a very, very busy week for me.

Genesis entries are flooding in from my judges. Each one is double-checked for addition errors, saved, privacy information taken care of, scores tabulated, etc.

Moderate the Heartsong Connections blog. I love this blog, the readers and commentors have been so great, and hopefully we're connecting readers and authors. If you haven't stopped by Heartsong Connections, please, head over and see what we're up to.

Edit Before The Dawn. I'm so close to the ending, and there are lots of changes to be made. Only about 15 more pages to go, but most of it is rewriting instead of editing. It's taking me longer than I wanted. I just signed the contract for this one, and I had wanted to turn the book in at the same time, but...It's not quite ready yet.

Wind up school with the boy. We're done with everything but his End Of Year Term Paper. His topic of choice this year is: Sergeant York, A Humble Hero. He's doing a great job on the paper, but there's still some work left to do. Then we're both out of school for summer!

End of Month bookkeeping and payroll weekend.

As writers, moms, employees, etc. we all know that everything won't come to a stop while we work on/focus on one task. The others will still be there.

Some days we're just dancing as fast as we can. And we have to cut ourselves some slack, take things as they come, and just keep dancing.

Question for you: Are you dancing this week? Do you have a lot on your plate?

Friday, April 23, 2010

The Friday Five - With Betsy!



From the back cover: To save her family ranch—and her father's legacy—Samantha Jenson reluctantly runs a dude ranch on the financially strapped property. Among the greenhorn tourists in stiff jeans and shiny cowboy boots: handsome businessman Ethan Ames. Ethan makes Sam remember her own dreams—of love and marriage. But surely he'll ride out of her life—in his fancy car—when his vacation is over. Until she learns that Ethan isn't on vacation at all. He has a very big secret. One that just might destroy her dreams of being his rodeo sweetheart…forever.

From me: Rodeo Sweetheart is a fun read. Lies, peer pressure, expectations of the future clashing with broken dreams from the past. Conflict abounds! Ethan is a sympathetic, yummy hero, and Sam is a tough but vulernable heroine. Betsy knows what romance readers want, and she delivers!


A bit about Betsy: Betsy St. Amant lives in north Louisiana, has a penchant for chocolate and polka dots shoes, and is a member of the American Christian Fiction Writers group. Betsy is multi-published through Steeple Hill and has been published in Christian Communicator magazine and Praise Reports: Inspiring Real Life Stories of How God Answers Prayer. One of her short stories, ‘Kickboxing or Chocolate’, appears in a Tyndale compilation book, and she is also multi-published through The Wild Rose Press. Betsy has a BA in Christian Communications and regularly contributes articles to Crosswalk.com. She is a wife, new mommy, author, and avid reader who enjoys sharing the wonders of God’s grace through her stories.




Today I asked Betsy to share with 5 ways her ideas have changed since the birth of her daughter, The Little Miss. So here's Betsy!

5 Ways My Ideas of Love Have Changed Since Becoming a Mommy...

1. Love can be shown in the most subtle of ways - the light in my daughter's eyes when she sees me, the pitch of her voice when she calls my name, the running of her legs when she rushes over for a hug, the picking of a wildflower she hands to me with a smile...love isn't just an emotion or a choice but a depth like no other.

2. I never knew my heart could melt the way it does. This question came at great timing, because just the other night my Lil Miss said "mama love you" for the very first time and gave me a big kissy smack on the cheek before I put her to bed. It was the sweetest moment of my life thus far, hands down.

3. I used to believe love was important, but not necessarily everything in life. Other things were important too - family, friends, church, missions, etc. But now I realize that love is at the foundation of everything we do, of all those things I listed above. It's the very foundation of God! That's HUGE! God is love. It's a phrase we sometimes as Christians say without much reverence because we grew up hearing it, but seriously...God is love. God IS love.

4. Just like love can be shown to me in various, subtle ways, so can I give love in subtle, various ways. The changing of a diaper, the mixing of a bottle, the buying of her favorite foods, the patience I show while playing or teaching or being with her...she picks up on all of that just like I do in the little things she shows me. All of it is priceless, and life is too short to miss a single, precious moment. It's rearranged my priorities, and opened my eyes to what's truly important in life.

5. I also see differently how God much loves us. I always knew He did, I grew up believing that, but its an entirely different perspective now. The depth of God's love for us--the truly unconditional aspect--before having my daughter always seemed a little dim to me. Now I know that no matter what Lil Miss does or says, I will love her. Nothing will change that. And God feels that way X 1 million about us. He LOVES us!

Thank you, Betsy!

Rodeo Sweetheart is available everywhere books are sold, but hurry, get a copy before they're gone!

Thursday, April 22, 2010


This week's recipe comes from Rachel Overton. Her friend Jessica, has a blog full of recipes which you can find HERE. Thanks Rachel and Jessica for this yummy and easy recipe:

Lemon Pepper Chicken Breasts

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: Crock-pot 3-4 hrs on high

Serves:4

Ingredients:
2-3 lbs. bone in,split breast chicken
3 tablespoons olive oil
salt and pepper
1 lemon
2 tsp. lemon pepper seasoning

Get your crock-pot out, plug it in, and turn it on high. Put olive oil in the bottom. Season chicken breasts with salt and place in crock pot. Cut the lemon in half squeeze juice all over chicken and leave the lemon in the crock-pot as well. Shake lemon pepper seasoning and 1 tsp. pepper over chicken, cover and cook 3-4 hours! Enjoy!


Question for you: Do you use the crock pot much in the spring and summer, or do you reserve slow-cooking for fall and winter?

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Survey Results

Last week I took a little survey (which I have to admit, was tons of fun to make and even more fun to watch the results come in.) Thank you to the 28 people who took the survey between Wednesday and Sunday night (when I schedule my blogs for the week.) As promised, here are the results. The questions are bold italics, the most popular answer is in black bold, and my answer is a red (X) behind my choice. My answers are not included in the 28 people's who took the survey.

1. How many fiction books do you read each month?

a) Less than one per month (3)
b) 1-2 Per Month (11)
c) 3-4 per month (10) (X)
d) five or more (4)

2. What Genre's do you read? (Check all that apply)

a) Contemporary Romance (11)
b) Mystery (8) (X)
c) Historical Romance (20) (X)
d) Sci-fi (3)
e) Young Adult (4)
f) Women's Fiction (14)
g) Contemporary Fiction (12)
h) Literary Fiction (10)
i) Suspense/thriller (12) (X)
j) Fantasy (6)

3) Do you finish reading a book before beginning a new one?

a) Yes (15) (X)
b) No (13)

4) What media do you most often read your fiction in?

a) Old fashioned paper/bound book (26) (X)
b) Kindle/iPad/Nook/Sony Reader (2)
c) eBooks for the PC/Mac (0)

5) Where do you do most of your reading?

a) In bed before I go to sleep (9) (X)
b) In a comfy chair (17)
c) In the car (0)
d) In the bathroom (2)

Any answers surprise you? Any ideas for another survey, 'cuz I thought this was fun!

Thanks to everyone who played!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Tip for Tuesday

Okay, so the picture has nothing to do with today's Tip for Tuesday, but I just like it. My son is holding a pile of orange kittens. Are they adorable or what??

On to the Tip for Tuesday. There is one inviolable rule of of fiction. Can you guess what it is?

It's not Show Don't Tell (though that's a good one.)

It's not One Point of View Per Scene (another excellent one.)

It's not No Backstory Dumps (because they are stinkin' boring and grind the story to a halt)

All of those rules can and have been broken by lots of authors throughout the ages. Some break them with better results than others, but I challenge you to check your bookshelves. I'll bet you can find at least one instance where each of these rules have been broken.

No, the cardinal, unbreakable rule for writing publishable fiction is this:

"No conflict, no story."

Seriously. If your character faces no conflict, you have no story at all.

Some beginning writers fall so deeply in love with their characters that they can't bear to put them through any difficulty. The writer pulls her punches and coddles her character.

I'm blessed to have a critique partner who has NO FEAR when it comes to throwing her characters into the meat-grinder. I sometimes have to read her manuscripts while wincing out of the corner of my eye. And she's taught me a lot about conflict and being unafraid.

In a workshop I attended with Tricia Goyer, she taught us that we need to drag our characters to the lowest low, so that the glorious grace of God and the overcoming of the obstacle shines even brighter. We can't be afraid to up the conflict, to put the outcome in jeopardy, to really hammer on our characters.

I realized how far I've come in this aspect as I was working on rewrites. I was writing a scene in which my hero hoped not to disgrace himself by doing something clumsy at dinner. The first flash across my mind was, "I wonder how he'll disgrace himself and what clumsy thing he will do."

This is a minor conflict that plays into the major one of the book, the one where the heroine has to break down the hero's prideful walls and convince him that though he's been crippled in an accident, she still loves him. On the side, he needs to find out why the mine he was in charge of collapsed, killing several and injuring himself.

The dinner scene could've been just that, a meal, blah, blah, blah. By ramping up the conflict, by causing to happen the one thing the hero didn't want, it makes the story interesting and leads into the next scene. How will he react? How will she counteract those actions? Will this set back his recovery? Will this change the way the heroine sees him?

Conflict forces the reader to ask questions, then read on to find out the answer.

So, does adding conflict come naturally to you? Was it a learned skill?

Monday, April 19, 2010

New blogging friends

Every so often, I go through the list of blogs I read and add the blogs of new friends and cull the blogs that I either don't read anymore or that the blogger isn't posting anymore. I especially try to follow the blogs of folks who read and comment here at On The Write Path. So here are four blogs that I've added to my blogroll. If you haven't checked them out, I encourage you to click on the links and go take a look.

Julie Jarnigan (Who has some really great news to share, hop on over and congratulate her!)

http://juliejwrites.blogspot.com/

Wendy Miller's blog

http://thoughtsthatmove.blogspot.com/

Carol Garvin's blog

http://careann.wordpress.com/

T. Anne Adam's blog

http://whiteplatonicdreams.blogspot.com/


Do you have any new blogs you're following?

Friday, April 16, 2010

The Friday Five

A couple weeks ago, I posted a list of animals I thought were funny looking. This week, the Friday Five is Five animals who have funny sounding names.


Aardvark

Armadillo. (Say it a few times. It's funny!)

Eel Pout (Popular MN winter fish--there's even a festival)

Toucan (Three Can? One Can? nope, Toucan)

Wombat. As funny looking as funny sounding.

So, anyone have any others?
Happy Friday!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Thursday Recipe

Recently in the mail, I received The Cowboy At Work, a book by Fay Ward. Fay was a cowboy for over thirty years, and he's put into print every aspect of cowboy work, from how to brand a calf to how to stow a bedroll. Ropes, spurs, chaps, and stirrups. It's a fascinating read and a must-have for all writers of cowboy fiction.

One chapter is entitled Cowboy Camp Chuck. My eye landed on the last recipe and I knew I wanted to share it with you all.

Sucamagrowl

3 cups water
1 cups sugar
2 pinches cinnamon or nutmeg
1 cup vinegar
2 tablespoons of flour

First, mix water and vinegar and bring to a boil. Mix sugar and flour together and stir into the boiling liquid until thoroughly dissolved. Cook for 15 mins, then add the spice. Mix up a batch of biscuit dough and drop by spoonsful into the simmering liquid. Serve hot.

Happy Tax Day!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What are you reading?

This weekend, I cleaned off my bedside table. I had over twenty books piled there, some I had read, some I still needed to read, and some that I knew I wouldn't finish.

I'm currently reading Rodeo Sweetheart by Betsy St. Amant and Hunter's Moon by Don Hoesel.

I created a little survey (I hope this works!) to learn a little more about your reading habits. Click on the link below to take the survey, and next week, I'll blog about the results.


Click here to take survey

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Tip for Tuesday

The nose knows!

Today's tip for Tuesday is about using the sense of smell in our writing. The sense of smell is one of the most powerful memory triggers we have.

Chocolate chip cookies baking.
Fresh bread.
Hamburgers grilling over hot coals.
The cosmetics/perfume department at Macy's.
Freshly ground coffee beans at Caribou Coffee.

Could you call those aromas to mind? How about some not so pleasant odors?

Apple pie filling that bubbled out of the pie and onto the burner in the stove.
Anything fishy.
Spoiled milk.
A stale mud puddle.
Mildew.

Again, could you bring those smells to mind?

How can we use these in our writing to draw the reader into our story?

Instead of saying the heroine stopped beside a bush, show how she crouched behind a lilac. Can't you smell the heady blooms, the almost overpowering perfume?

Do you have a restaurant scene? (Cliche alert, BTW) make it a restaurant with a distinctive smell. Mexican restaurants smell different from Italian restaurants which smell different from Malt Shoppes which smell different from greasy spoon diners.

Barns don't smell like department stores and city alleys don't smell like Newport drawing rooms. The key to using the sense of smell in our writing is to be specific. You'll draw your reader into the setting, which draws them into the scene.

So, what scene are you writing right now? Tell us the setting, and let us know what you're doing to bring in the sense of smell?

For me, I'm writing a scene in a boarding school for the blind. The hero smells furniture polish, chalk, a fuel oil stove that smokes a bit, starch from the laundry room and boiled potatoes from the kitchen.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Monday Musings

Okay, so how did your weekend go? Mine went way too fast. From date night on Friday night to Write out Blog Posts Sunday night, woosh!

Some thoughts on the events:

1. Yay for Phil Mickelson winning The Masters for the third time. I have to say, I'm heartily weary of all the Tiger Woods hype. Before his affairs became water-cooler fodder, I wondered if the announcers were being paid by the mention. No matter where Tiger was on the leaderboard, the focus was always on him. He could be twenty shots off the lead and the camera spent more time on his round than on the leaders. Then a five-month fiasco of a hiatus from golf while his LOADS of dirty laundry were aired around the world. During that time off, golf announcers on tv had nothing to talk about. There were a lot of awkward silences, and even (I'm not making this up) some references to "A certain famous golfer who isn't in the field today." Now that Tiger's back, the announcers are once again mentioning his name every other minute. Sigh. I do enjoy watching golf, but not when such blatant idolatry is going on.

2. Spring Cleaning Fever hit here. Scrubbing the gasket on the fridge door and chasing dust bunnies behind the tv and under my printer. I also organized my bookshelf and reshelved the tower of books that had been growing on my bedside table.

3. I really enjoy the tv show Castle. I have the first season on DVD, and we watched some episodes in the evenings this weekend.

4. I love my church. Sunday School is wonderful! We're going through the book of Romans. I know Pastor Kevin intended us to move much quicker through the chapters (we're in about week five and only half way through chapter 2) but the slow, expositional study suits me down to the ground! Also, last night was our women's Bible study. We had two new ladies who brought such a fresh viewpoint and were such great reminders of the beautiful grace and provision of God in our lives. We're studying in the Psalms, using Nancy Leigh DeMoss's 30 Day Walk in the Psalms, and it's like drinking cool, clear, refreshing water after being in a parched desert.

So, how was your weekend? Are you refreshed and ready to dive into this week? Have you done any spring cleaning yet?

Friday, April 09, 2010

The Friday Five


This is a picture of my husband's grandfather, the man he was named after. He loved horses.

As a girl, I loved all things horse-related. I read dozens of books about horses.

So, today, here are some of my favorite horse books I read as a child:

1. Arabian Cow Horse by John Richard Young.

2. Misty of Chincoteague by Marguerite Henry.

3. The Black Stallion by Walter Farley.

4. The Christmas Horse by Glenn Balch.

5. Spring Comes Riding by Betty Cavanna.

So, any horse lovers out there? Do any of these books look familiar? Did you have a favorite horse book as a child?

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Recipe for Thursday

Today's recipe is CrockPot Chili

1 lb. browned ground beef
1 onion chopped
1 tsp. salt
1-2 tsp. chili powder
1 bay leaf
1 tsp Worchestershire sauce
8 oz. tomato sauce
1 small can tomato paste
1 can whole peeled tomatoes
16 oz can kidney beans

Combine all ingredients in crock pot and simmer for 2-4 hours. Serve hot with shredded cheddar cheese and corn chips.

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Geneology

This weekend, I got a chance to enjoy a project my sister-in-law Linda has been working on for months.

Linda has been tracing her (and therefore my husband's and children's) family tree. Some go back as far as the 17th century, to Switzerland, to Germany, to exotic places like Iowa and South Dakota. I was amazed at how much work she had done. Three big binders full of information, families, photographs, newspaper clippings, letters.

As I read through the pages, several things struck me.
  • This took a tremendous amount of detailed, tedious work. I'm in awe.
  • That we have an easier life now. So many women died in childbirth, so many children died in infancy, so many people died young.
  • That we all have a proscribed number of days on this earth, and there is nothing we can do to lengthen those days. There were hundreds of names in the database, and the vast majority had passed away decades ago.
  • That there is comfort in knowing where you came from. Roots ground you, to places, to people, to your history.
  • That looking through a family history like this gives my life perspective. There is a measure of healing that has come as a result of this project. As our family continues to grieve the passing of my mother-in-law, things like this family tree project give us perspective and continuity.

Have you done any family tree assembly? Did you learn anything surprising?

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

Tip for Tuesday

If there is one book every novelist should read, as well as one book that will scare the hoo-ha out of every novelist, it is:

Writing The Breakout Novel (Workbook) by Donald Maass.

I was privileged to sit under Maass's teaching last fall, and I have to say, it was everything I'd hoped for and more. Not only did he teach from his Writing The Breakout Novel, he also taught about the core ideas in his latest book: The Fire in Fiction.

The central key to writing great fiction is to maintain the tension from the first word until the last.

When I first considered this idea, I thought, "That's only for suspense novels, or thrillers. I write romance. I can't be blowing things up and having people fight all the time."

It took awhile for the lightbulb to go on. Tension isn't about exploding helicopters and bodies dropping everywhere...or at least, that isn't the only type of tension a novelist can put in a story. Tension is about upping the stakes for the characters, about putting them in situations where they have to chose between two equally difficult paths. It's about dredging up a characters past and forcing them to face it, to either stay the same and atrophy or change and grow. It's about writing tight and keeping your scene goals crystal clear.

Question for you:  1) Have you read anything by Donald Maass. 2) Are you working to put tension into your scenes?

Monday, April 05, 2010

Monday Of A New Month

This month I have only one goal. FINISH editing my current WIP and get it off to the crit girls.

Lately I've been doing plenty of 'writerly stuff' but not much writing. Even my husband asked this weekend if I was writing new material again. He thought it seemed like a long time since I had written anything new.

Then he made the mistake of asking my about my current WIP, and he got treated to a twenty minute synopsis, and I got a reminder about that I love this story and I'm excited to work on it.

In order to finish the editing, I need to set some measurable, attainable goals. I have eight more chapters to edit. That means I must complete at least two chapters per week. The editing involves rewriting and reworking a manuscript I wrote a long time ago, so there are lots of things to change. I've learned a lot in the years since I wrote this story. I've found my authorial voice, learned about deep POV, and learned to write much tighter.

So, my goal for this month is to edit two chapters per day and to finish this WIP.

How about you? What are your goals for April?

Friday, April 02, 2010

The Good Friday Five

This week's Friday Five is:

Five things I love about Easter Weekend.

1. The Good Friday Service at church. Next to the Christmas Eve service, I think I love the Good Friday service the best. A somber reflection on the death of Christ for our sins, and yet, through it all, there is a supressed joy, because though it might be Friday night...Sunday's Coming!

2. Easter Music. Can you have an Easter service without singing "Christ Arose"? I remember Bill Tucker, the fine tenor man who lead the singing in the church I grew up in. We'd be so somber and sad in the opening lines of the song, then KABOOM! Up From The Grave He Arose would belt out. Bill would wave his arm in cadence, and he'd stand on tiptoe, as if that would make the song even more powerful.

3. Sweet dresses on the little girls in the church, and the little extra dressing up we all seem to do in honor of the resurrection.

4. Easter lillies. They smell heavenly, look wonderful, and are as fitting as holly and pine at Christmas.

5. Okay, I'll admit it. I like Easter candy. Pastel M&M's and chocolate bunnies, jellybeans and malted-milk eggs. We usually get together with my SIL and her family, and though our kids are in high school and college, they still have an Easter Egg hunt. :)

What do you love about Easter weekend?

Thursday, April 01, 2010

Quick Cooking Thursday

Today's Recipe:

Calico Beans

Ingredients:

1 large can baked beans or 2 cans pork-n-beans
1 can red kidney beans - drained
1 can pinto beans - drained
1 can great northern beans or butter beans - drained
1/2 cup white sugar
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup ketchup
1/3 c vinegar
1 onion, chopped
1 lb. hamburger
1 lb bacon

Instructions:

Brown hamburger and onion together. Drain. Cook bacon until crispy and cut into small pieces. Mix everything in a 9x13 pan and bake at 375 for 35 minutes.