Time To Make The Fruitcake!

FRUITCAKE LOVERS UNITE!

In order for the full flavor to shine through you want to make your fruitcakes soon to allow them to “age”.

I have shared a tried and true family recipe here in my Nana’s Kitchen section. Why not try this old fashioned favorite? AUNT BERTHA’S FRUITCAKE

Fruitcake - 01

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Day 8 of Giving Thanks – My Children

Our Girls - Summer 2014

Our Girls – Summer 2014

Raising three girls was wonderful, challenging and one of the greatest blessings of my life.

Now, if they only came with a manual. What worked for one, didn’t work with another. I made my mistakes as a mom along the way, but my guiding force was always love. Of course I could do things so differently now with the wisdom gained during the years the girls were growing up. I did my best and hope they always know that and just how much I love them!

Daughter

 

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Day 7 of Giving Thanks – My Husband

17 years ago today we were married at Holy Trinity Lutheran Church in Lebanon, PA. These past 17 years were filled with much joy, many challenges and passing of loved ones dear to us. Together, we faced it all and are still standing strong.  I pray we have many more years together ahead of us. I give thanks for Jim every day, many times a day. God blessed me with a good man when he brought him in to my life.

We laugh, we cry, we hope and dream, we banter (this is not fighting!), we discuss and yes, we quarrel. I am certainly not perfect and my knight has a few chinks in his armor. Most of all we love! And that love is built on trust and caring deeply for each other. I know he has my back and I have his. We are a team, partners for the rest of our lives.

Sharing a few favorite snapshots of us over the years. 

In 1998 when we were still dating.

1998 – When we were still dating.

Dancing on our Wedding Day.

1998 – Dancing on our Wedding Day.

2002 Not long after Jim had open heart surgery.

2002 – Not long after Jim had open heart surgery.

Christmas 2005 A favorite picture of hubby and me at Virginia Beach

2005 – A favorite picture of hubby and me at Virginia Beach during Christmas vacation

2011 on one of our road trips

2011 – Road trip to Mount Gretna

2011 - St. Augustine FL

2011 – St. Augustine FL

April 2014

2014 – At our nephew’s wedding

2014 - Hanging out at the airport

2014 – Hanging out at the airport

2015 - St. Mary's , Georgia

2015 – St. Mary’s , Georgia

 

Our Sunday School Picnic this fall.

Our Sunday School Picnic this fall.

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Day 6 of Giving Thanks – My Friends

Friends 03

For fear of forgetting someone, I am not going to mention names but instead just say THANK YOU to all who are my friends and a true blessing in my life. So many of the people I call friend today are from my church family. It seems each week I continue to meet new folks there that I connect with. Some of my friends I have known for ages and others I have met more recently, such as my DAR Sisters. In the past few years I have been blessed to reconnect with some friends from my younger years that I lost track of. All of you are a wonderful piece of my life.

While in our lives we have many that we call friend, there are always a few we consider extremely close friends. Those dear ladies have seen me at my best and worst. We have the type of relationship that is based on complete honesty and trust. They are there when I need a shoulder to cry on or someone to share my joys. They offer honest advice and support. I do hope I have been as good a friend to them as they are to me. One is now far too many miles away and I miss her terribly. We haven’t seen each other in person for 7 years but continue to stay in touch online. Thankfully the other is close by. She lifts me up, inspires me and encourages me. We have fun adventures together and are growing in our faith together. We joke that I am the Martha to her Mary. Balance!

True friends have been there for me, supporting me, loving me, even when it might have been difficult to do so. I appreciate your presence in my life. It is my hope that I have been and can continue to be the friend you need as well.

When I look at the group I consider friends I am reminded of this song we sang often in Girl Scouts.

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Day 5 of Giving Thanks – My Aunts & Uncles, Cousins

It was always great fun to gather with the extended family. Being an only child I looked forward to visiting cousins to have someone close to my age to play with.

My Mundis 1st Cousins; Karen, Jim, Sandy, and Steve and me in front.

My Mundis 1st Cousins; Karen, Jim, Sandy, and Steve and me in front.

After church we would gather at my Grandma Mom & Pap’s house for Sunday Dinner. Many times the house would be overflowing with relatives. I was always amazed how my grandmother could manage to stretch food when unexpected folks showed up. As the youngest of the family it was rare I was asked to help much in the kitchen because the older ladies had that under control. So I would have the chance to play with my younger cousins. I remember a few times they dressed me up in my grandma’s clothes and pulled me up and down the street in a wagon. I would wave my white gloved hands at the neighbors sitting on their porches. As I got older the neighbors would often remind me of those days when I thought I was royalty.

When it was time to eat the adults gathered in the dining room and the younger kids had smaller tables and tv trays set up in a row in the living room. From time to time an adult would come in and make sure we were minding our manners. One I remember in particular was an aunt who made sure elbows were never on the table. If they were you got the handle of a knife smacked against your elbow. I did it once and never again!

Always a special treat was when my great Uncle Bill and Aunt Lydia visited from Ohio with their family. He was my grandma’s brother. Uncle Bill was always interested in learning more about his family history and I remember drives to places the family had lived as well as cemeteries. I wish I would have had both a tape recorder and camera on those trips!

Mundis, Joyce & Greg with Lisa Spalding - Easter 1960 2

Mundis 2nd Cousins Joyce & Greg with me.

My mom’s half brother Jim and his family would come to visit from time to time as well. My cousins, pictured above, and I always had fun playing together.

My Spalding Cousin and me (the little one!)

My Spalding Cousins; Eddie, Pam, Betty and me.

When we visited Grandma & Grandpa in York Haven, many times Uncle Bernard & Aunt Deanie and Aunt Evelyn & Uncle Clayton would visit with their families or we would go visit them. Even though they were older than me, my cousins took time to play with me.

My dad’s siblings, Evelyn and Bernard were great comfort and strength to me during my dad’s final months. They often went to visit him with me and Aunt Evelyn was always cooking for me so Jim and the girls and I had food. How I miss her Beef Vegetable Soup! Her’s tasted just like Grandma’s. Aunt Evelyn and I sat vigil with daddy and we were holding his hands when he passed.  I was always impressed at how close daddy and his brother and sister were. They would talk on the phone several times a week and get together whenever they could.

Uncle Bernard, Aunt Evelyn & my Dad

Uncle Bernard, Aunt Evelyn & my Dad

I have made many trips to Maryland to visit daddy’s cousins and kin. During the time we lived in Thurmont it was great to be close by to these relatives. I don’t see them as often as I would like these days but they are always in my heart.

All of my aunts and uncles have passed as have many of the cousins from my mom and dad’s generation. I treasure the memories I have of them and most of all give thanks for their love. The great aunts and uncles and various times removed older cousins I had the chance of knowing played a big part in helping me with our family history.

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Day 4 of Giving Thanks – My Grandparents

Nothing made me happier as a child than spending treasure time with my grandparents. How blessed I was to have had these four people in my life that I loved very much and always made me feel so loved.  I am now Nana to three beautiful girls and another grandangel is on the way! Where did the years go?

MY MATERNAL SIDE

Pap & Grandma Mom

Pap & Grandma Mom

My mother’s mom, who I call “mom” or “grandma mom”, and her father, my Pap, lived right across from us so I was there often. I spent as much time there as I did at my own home, maybe more! We didn’t have a television until the fall of 1963 so when we wanted to watch a show we went over there.

As a little girl I loved to curl up in my grandma’s lap and listen to her read me books. When I went to Junior and Senior High School I would walk through her yard each day to say good morning and then stop to visit again on the way home.

My Pap was 97 when he passed in 1967 and was in relatively good health up to the last few months of his life. He walked miles every day. I loved to sit and listen to him tell stories of his youth. I used to laugh how much he loved Shredded Wheat and had it just about every day for breakfast. I remember him collecting the little animals hidden in the cereal box for me. I would play with them in the back yard, under the shade of the huge maple tree, pretending they were in the jungle.  I still have them and they are truly treasured items.

Click for more memories of PAP & GRANDMA MOM.

MY PATERNAL SIDE

Grandma & Grandpa Spalding with me on my first Christmas.

Grandma & Grandpa Spalding with me on my first Christmas.

My grandma & grandpa Spalding lived in York Haven and it was always a treat to go visit them. We would take the bus up on Friday night and then back on Saturday night. The weekend always included walks with my dad, grandpa and their friend Bumps. We would venture down the railroad tracks, explore the island and watch the fisherman. For a city kid this was quite an adventure! When we got back grandpa would give me money to go next door to Jake Meads’ store. I would come back with a sack of penny candy, ice cream and a cold soda from the big Coca Cola chest.

Grandma would give Martha Stewart a challenge today. She was such a good cook. She used to make the most wonderful candies and her roast beef had a flavor I have not been able to fully duplicate. Close, but not quite! She spent a lot of time at her sewing machine. She did alterations as well as making clothes and dolls and toys. I still have the bride doll she made for my first Christmas and an amazing seamstress. The picture I shared here is my very first Christmas.

Click for more memories of GRANDMA & GRANDPA SPALDING.

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