Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Saying Goodbye to Mom~

It is with an extremely heavy heart, and through tears,  that I write this post.  As many of you know, my precious MIL fell ill two weeks ago.  God called her home on March 18, 2017.

She was 98 1/2 years young, and the most amazing woman I have ever had the privilege of knowing. She was part of the greatest generation that has ever lived.  She had seen it all, yet remained positive until the end.  She was never one to complain, rather look for the good in everything and everyone. I remember always asking her when I'd call, "Mom, how are you doing?" and she would reply with a little chuckle in her voice, "Better than the alternative."  She set a beautiful example of what a daughter, wife, mother, sister, aunt and grandmother should be.  God was always first, and her best friend.  Something that didn't go unnoticed by her best friend, as she recommended that one of the hymns for Mom's service be What a Friend We Have in Jesus.  She did indeed call Jesus her friend, and knew she could count on Him to see her through anything that came her way.

Reverend Trosien preached a beautiful sermon from Malachi 3:16-17, "God's completed Gem".

The Faithful Remnant

"Then those who feared the Lord talked with each other, and the Lord listened and heard. A scroll of rememberance was written in his presence concerning those who feared the Lord and honored his name. On the day when I act, says the Lord Almighty, they will be my treasured possession.  I will spare them, just as a father has compassion and spares his son who serves him."

Mom, you were a gem to all who had the privilege of knowing you and you will be greatly missed.

And because she wouldn't want us to be sad, I'll end with a funny story...

My FIL always called her the "boss".  When we asked a question of him, he would reply, "go ask the boss." (jokingly, of course)

When mom passed from this broken world and arrived in heaven, we could just hear sweet dad..."Oh Lord, the boss is back!"

To which she would reply, "Would anyone like some coffee and dessert?"

Ruth Eleanor
August 28, 1918-March 18, 2017

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Checking In~Prayers Needed

I realized not all of my blogging friends follow me on Instagram and Facebook, so I wanted to check in here and let you know where I've been and to ask for prayer.

Many of you know my sweet MIL is 98 years old.  Up until late Sunday evening, she was still living in her own home. Remarkable!  She does have an amazing caregiver who looks in on her daily, and has truly been (and continues to be) a godsend to us. She lives in Michigan, we are in Georgia.  Other than age related dementia, she was in amazing health given her age.

Sunday evening we received a call from her caregiver that mom was not well.  In fact, she felt she may not make it through the night.  She was fading fast.  The decision at the time was made to keep mom at home, as transporting her in the frigid weather would only makes matters worse.  A dear friend was with her as well.  Her caregiver ran home to collect her things so she could spend the night with her at the house.  When she returned home, she and mom's dear friend felt she had had a stroke as she was having difficulty with her left arm and leg. At that time all were in agreement that she needed to be transported to the hospital.

The ambulance arrived, and true to form, mom's feisty German side reared its head and she fought tooth and nail.  She was alert and telling my husband there was no need for her to go to the hospital. A sign she was still very much with us.

She was admitted to the hospital (after doctors initially considered transferring her to the larger hospital down south for cardiac care).  We were told she had suffered a mild heart attack, and most likely a stroke (it did not show up on the CT scan).  She was started on heart medication.  She had her ups and downs. The decision was made to transport her to a skilled nursing facility near by for rehabilitation (however, it was clear to us she would not be able to return home long term).  She was transported late yesterday afternoon.  We had the chance to speak with her, and while confused and upset as to why she was there and once again wanting to go home, she was getting a little stronger.

This morning, just before one AM we received the call we prayed we would never get...she had attempted to get out of bed and had fallen.  She broke her femur just below her hip joint.  They were transporting her to the hospital.

She was see by an orthopaedist, who set the break.  She was then transported back to the nursing facility early this morning and placed in hospice care. While being medicated, she has had moments where she is awake and able to carry on a conversation.  So we have been able to talk with her. Her precious caregiver has been with her as well as her dearest friend. At this time, the goal is to keep her comfortable.

I know many of you are prayer warriors, and we would so appreciate those prayers for her and for us, and for her caregiver who truly is an angel.

We are in the midst of making arrangements to be with her.  Please pray for travel mercies as well.

I will be away from the blog for as long as needed, and to be with my family.

Much love and thanks, Lauren

Friday, March 10, 2017

TGIF~DIY Industrial Shelves Addition

Hello friends!  Gosh, this week sure did fly by.  I have been busy keeping up with a now VERY active Golden Retriever, a.k.a. HENLEY!!  He really is a joy.

Today I thought I would share our new industrial shelves that we diy'd for a corner in our kitchen. We used to have a chalkboard hanging on that wall, but since we already had another chalkboard area on the side of our refrigerator cabinet we decided two weren't necessary.

I love the extra storage the shelves provide, while also being decorative.  I got the idea from Suzy of Worthing Court.  You can read her DIY tutorial here.  The only thing I will add is that we had an issue with one of the pipes not being level once screwed into the flange.  Of course, this will make the shelf not level when placing it on the pipe brackets.  We ended up purchasing another set, and checked all for level on a flat surface using a small magnetic level we had on hand prior to installing.  I used Rustoleum's hammered metal spray paint in black to paint the metal parts.  As Suzy mentions in her tutorial, be sure to wash all metal parts in soapy water to remove all the grease before painting them.

The before, from Christmas:

And the afters:

This picture shows you where the corner is located.  It's a small wall just inside our french doors that lead to our back porch.  The opening on the left leads to our family room.

I love that with just a few simple changes, I can decorate them for different holidays.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.  Was a stormy morning, but the sun is shining brightly now.

Saturday, March 4, 2017

Simply Saturday~

Loved the book, cannot wait to see the movie, but THIS song...

to my girls,

Friday, March 3, 2017

TGIF Dinner Addition~Fall Off the Bone Slow Cooker Ribs

TGIF y'all.

Today I am sharing with you a SUPER easy, yet oh so yummy recipe.  We love ribs.  Especially hubby's slow cooked dry rubbed ribs he cooks in the summertime.  But, sometimes you crave that same taste yet don't won't to put in the time and effort.  These slow cooker ribs are a very close second.

Fall Off the Bone Slow Cooker Ribs

About 3 pounds baby back ribs (this can be doubled to feed more, just double your liquids too)
rib rub (we used Famous Dave's as it is allergy friendly)
1/2 C apple cider vinegar
1/3 C soy sauce (we used liquid aminos, gluten free/soy free
1 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
barbecue sauce (of choice) (we used a mix of hot and regular Bone Suckin' Sauce)


1. Trim the ribs and cut the rack into 4 sections.  Rub the ribs generously with your favorite rib rub. If you don't have a rib rub, salt, pepper, and garlic powder will work just fine. Allowing the ribs to sit in the refrigerator a while (even overnight, which is what we did) will add more flavor, but it isn't required.

2. Mix the vinegar, soy sauce, and liquid smoke together and pour it into the bottom of the slow cooker. Add the rib sections (meat side down), spreading them around the bowl of the slow cooker. Cook on low for 4 to 6 hours, or until tender and you can see the meat separating from the bone.

3. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat. Coat the ribs with the barbecue sauce and grill for 15 minutes, turning once, or until the barbecue sauce is charred a bit. (we used the broiler instead)

We served with a side of baked beans.

The original recipe can be found here.

And, you know I couldn't leave you without another Henley update...

Week 1-approx. 11 lbs, Week 2-approx. 14 lbs, Week 3-16 lbs and still growing!

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What's for Dinner Wednesday~Cast-Iron Burgers and Fries

This recipe comes from one of my very first Gluten Free Cookbooks, The Cooking Light Gluten Free Cookbook.  I love that there are several recipes that are dairy free as well now that #2 and I can no longer eat/drink dairy (me-Cow's milk products, she-all animal milk).

Cast Iron Burgers and Fries

1 lb ground sirloin (we use grass fed beef)
1/4 tsp kosher salt (we use sea salt)

Horseradish Spread:
1 TBS canola mayonnaise (we use Follow Your Heart Vegan Mayo-Dairy and Soy Free)
1 TBS Dijon Mustard
1 TBS prepared horseradish
2 tsp ketchup

2 applewood-smoked bacon slices, chopped (we used the Hormel Natural Bacon-GF we had on hand)
3 C vertically sliced yellow onion (we use our mandolin for this)
1 TBS finely chopped fresh chives
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce (check for GF)
1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper (we use white as I cannot have black)

Remaining Ingredients:
Cooking spray (we prefer coconut oil)
4 (2.8 ounce) gluten-free hamburger buns, toasted (we use Pure Knead buns-free of top 8 allergens as #2 cannot have eggs, found at our local Kroger)
4 green leaf lettuce leaves
4 (1/4 inch thick) slices tomato

*we omitted the lettuce and tomato (the onion/bacon mixture is plenty)

To Prepare:

1. To prepare the patties, divide beef into 4 portions, lightly shaping each into a 1/2-inch thick patty.  Sprinkle evenly with salt. Cover and refrigerate 30 minutes.
2. To prepare horseradish spread, combine mayonaise and next 3 ingredients in a small bowl. Set aside.
3. To prepare the relish, cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium-low heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan. Add onion to drippings in pan; cook 15 minutes or until golden brown. Combine bacon, onion mixture, chives, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper in a small bowl.
4. Heat a large cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add patties; cook 2 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness. Spread 1 1/2 teaspoons horseradish spread on cut side of each bun half. Top bottom half of each bun with 1 lettuce leaf, 1 tomato slice, 1 patty, 1/4 cup relish,and top half of bun.

We served good old OreIda seasoned fries (gluten free).