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“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, ‘Whom shall I send?  And who will go for us?’  And I said ‘Here I am.  Send me!'”

Several years ago it was my privilege to be a part of Friendship International and after teaching ceramics for a year, I decided to teach a class about “how to be a clown.”  I was actually a part of a clown group in my church at that time and we enjoyed visiting nursing homes and even went to the children’s special Olympic games held over in Richmond one year.  The Friendship ladies and I had so much fun that year. We spent most of our time laughing. Can you tell that we designed our costumes ourselves from pajamas and our husband’s old shirts?  At the end of the semester, we decided to put on a skit in which we taught the other ladies at Friendship how to make “Friendship Soup.”  Of course clowns don’t talk so each of the ladies put in an ingredient in our soup pot.  One put in a rubber chicken, another a whole bunch of unpeeled carrots with the green tops still on and another salt that was still in the salt shaker just to list a few.  But the clowns were all sad because we couldn’t figure out why when we tested the soup it didn’t taste right.  Then someone figured out that we had left out the LOVE ingredient.  So we all started hugging each other and after that the soup tasted great!  I shall never forget the wonderful friends and memories of that group of ladies.  If any of you are still around make a comment and let me know.

I have often made my own original version of “Friendship Soup” at home and it is a favorite of my family and friends.  I usually serve it with homemade bread or corn bread.  I will include those recipes in a later post.  Just remember when you make it  that the most important ingredient is love and always make enough to share with a friend.  That is me with the green hair and chef hat.

Friendship Soup Recipe

  • 2 Tablespoons margarine or butter
  • 3 lbs. lean stew beef stew meat cut in chunks (cut off all fat around the beef)
  • 9 cups of water
  • 1 cup Swanson all natural beef stock
  • 1 can of stewed tomatoes
  • 4 fresh carrots peeled and cut in pieces
  • 2 packages frozen white corn (off the cob)
  • 1 package frozen mixed vegetables (corn, peas, beans, carrots)
  • 8 stalks fresh celery chopped into small pieces
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon pepper, 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder,
  • 1/2 teaspoon marjoram leaves,  1/2 teaspoon oregano leaves, 1/2 white onion chopped fine or 1/2 teaspoon onion flakes
  • 3 tablespoons flour

Early in the morning in a large pot, brown the beef in the butter on medium high heat.  Add the water, beef stock and salt and pepper.  Let simmer all morning.  Take off burner and add a cup of ice cubes to cool and place pot in refrigerator in order to let grease rise to top.  A couple of hours before supper cook the carrots and celery about 20 minutes until tender and drain.  Cook frozen corn and vegetables and drain.  Take soup pot out of refrigerator and skim off the fat and throw away.  Chop up the stewed tomatoes and add them along with tomato juice to pot.  Add all of the drained cooked vegetables and the rest of the seasonings.  Bring to boil and then let simmer until dinner time.  Just before serving mix the flour into a cup of water and add to soup stirring to thicken the broth.  We love it the first night but I think it tastes even better the following day after all the flavors have mixed together.  Enjoy!

Favorite Toys:   The Rocket Ship

I had been hearing about the rocket ship from my grand kids for about five years before I went to see it.  The “rocket ship” is in a bedroom at Rick (Pop) and Andrea’s {Mimi) house.  Pop has visited numerous garage sales and flea markets to fill the rocket ship with many           treasures.  Actually, according to Spencer, the Commander of the ship, they had so  much stuff that they had to make a storage box for the extra stuff.  The rocket ship consists of a bunk bed and two refrigerator boxes stacked on top of each other along with over 200 assorted collected treasures.

  • The rocket ship team is made up of:
  • Spencer the Commander
  • Grant the General
  • Simon the Sergeant
  • Scout the Medic
  • Shepherd, member in training

Spencer told me that they don’t just eat, sleep and ride in space all the time.  They get off and fight battles with the enemy. More fun stuff for Kids

Rice Krispie Treat Snowmen

Last Thursday night the kids had a ball making snowmen.  When you do this project be sure to have large bowls of water on the table for the kids to dip their hands.  It is SUPER STICKY!

Ingredients:  6 cups Rice Krispies cereal, 1 10 oz. bag of large marshmallows,           3 Tablespoons of butter or margarine, red licorice whips, chocolate covered raisins, carrot sticks cut in the shape of a nose, wax paper and paper plates.

Melt the butter and add the marshmallow stirring until melted.  Add the Rice Krispies and stir until well mixed.  Spoon out some of the mixture on a paper plate for each child.  Place the paper plate on a sheet of wax paper to further protect your table.  Tell the children to wet their hands and mold three snow balls placing one on top of the other.  Use some frosting to hold them together if necessary.  Add the chocolate raisin eyes, red licorice mouth and a scarf and a carrot stick nose using a little frosting to hold in place.  This was a really fun project and I can’t remember when I’ve heard the grand kids laugh so much!  They also loved eating their finished snowmen!

Mind illuminations

After our usual Wednesday trip to the bakery, we decided to go to the Thrifty Book Worm bookstore off Harrodsburg road. on Allendale. I’ve always loved books, libraries and bookstores ever since I worked at a library during my summers when I was in Junior High and High School.  I earned a $1.50 an hour and felt well paid to be doing something I enjoyed so much.  The Thrifty Book Worm is loaded with half price books and I thoroughly loved looking at the children’s section which is not big but filled with some excellent books.  I bought “Frog and Toad Together,” a book by Arnold Lobel for Shepherd.  My daughter and I loved reading it together when she was little.  I also bought “Wiggle” a funny book about a dog by Doreen Cronin.  It said that it was written for energetic toddlers.  For myself I bought “Puppies For Sale and Other Inspirational Tales” by Dan Clark.  He is one of the best-loved storytellers who wrote the #1 New York Times Bestseller “Chicken Soup for the Soul.”  I plan to return to the bookstore by myself when I can browse longer without keeping an eye on Shepherd.

The Great Commission Celebration

On January 22, Porter Memorial Baptist Church had a service that blessed my soul and heart.  The singing of “How Great Is Our God” with solos sung by many Internationals in their own language was so beautiful it brought tears to my eyes.  It was sung in Korean, Japanese, Chinese, Spanish, Haitian and UkraneanIt sounded like a little foretaste of what Heaven must be like.  That afternoon we were treated to an International Food Tasting and Mission Celebration and it was a glorious day indeed!

Mind Illuminations

Judy Metcalf, the director of Friendship International is hosting the new Beth Moore Bible study on James beginning Feb. 13 at 10:00 A.M. in Wilmore, KY, at her home.  Any one interested is welcome to come.

Golden Illuminations

We took Ladd to the vet last weekend for a Rabies shot and DA2PLCPVCV ADULT shot and Leptospira 5 way Annual shot.  He is good to go for a year now and I think he looks great with his red heart Rabies tag.  It is very important to keep your dogs up to date on their shots and flea medicine.  We have found that Advantage is the flea medicine that works best for our dogs.

In training Ladd who is now almost 6 months old, I use hand signs as well as voice.  I found this to work very well in teaching him to sit, lie down and roll over.  It is very important that your dog has his complete attention focused on you when you are training him.  In the same way if a service dog is distracted, he may not recognize an important need or wish indicated by his master.  This could be both dangerous and regrettable. Check out my article in my Jan. 28 post about therapy-service dogs if you would like to know more.

In the same way when we lose focus on our Master, we have no guide for living.  If we do not quickly regain our focus, we may wander down dangerous paths and dead ends that lead nowhere.  I have discovered that my SELF is my greatest enemy because it tries to get my focus off my LORD.  Every time I get too busy thinking about what I want to do instead of asking God what He wants me to do, I get into trouble. So this Year I will try to remember to FOCUS on what is truly important!

Please watch for a very important post coming February 14.  I will be talking about something that is very dear to my heart.  Also will be included pictures from our annual Valentine party for the grand kids, (parents night out) plus recipes, crafts and fun stuff.