Happy Thanksgiving- I’ve Made It To The Grown Up Table!

You know what I’m talking about, don’t you? Holidays crowded around the table with a card or coffee table set up for the kids

Did you dream of making it to the grown up table?


This is the table I grew up celebrating at. My grandparents house. What memories this brings back for me. Much of our family is absent from this picture, but there would usually be my cousins and I hanging outside. My aunts would help my mom and Grandma in the kitchen.

My favorite Thanksgiving memory is when my Aunt Kathy came home from college. I missed her terribly when she left. Being only 11 years older than I, she was a big part of my life. She brought home a belated birthday gift for me; a red duffle bag filled with Hello Kitty things. A tiny keychain address book. Lip gloss.

And, for the nieces and nephews, a craft. Turkeys made from apple bodies, marshmallow legs on toothpicks, raisin eyes. We laughed and created.

Leave a comment and tell me about your favorite family celebrations. What made them special?

Seems like aside from people, food tops the charts for memory making. My great Aunt Bertie shared this variation on a traditional pumpkin pie. I hope you like it, the happiest of days to you. No matter how you spend them, I wish you well.

Pumpkin Chiffon Pie
  • 1 envelope Knox unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 c packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 c. milk
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin
  • 3 egg whites—reserved, along wit 1/4 c. reserved sugar

Mix first 5 ingredients in the top of a double boiler. Stir in the other ingredients and mix well. Cook over boiling water, stirring occasionally, until gelatin dissolves and mixture is heated (about 10 minutes). Remove from heat, chill until mixture mounds when dropped from a spoon.

Beat 3 egg whites until stiff in another bowl. Beat in 1/4 c. sugar and fold into gelatin mixture.

Turn out into 9″ baked pie shell, chill until firm. Just before serving it is best topped with real whipped cream

Fighting Back Against Melanoma


Would it surprise you to know that the single most popular post on this blog is about Melanoma?

I never thought I’d revisit that topic, honestly. Until last week’s semiannual exam.

A few weeks ago I was sitting in a conference session. The speaker mentioned being a Melanoma survivor.


That caught my attention, because it had never even crossed my mind. I have had malignant melanoma removed. It didn’t seem like a big deal to me, really. [Read more…]

A Pile Of Old Jeans Becomes A Child’s Sole Hope


“I could do something to help or I could call it someone else’s problem”– Asher Collie, Sole Hope


My children have several pairs of shoes in their closet. Jeans sit crumpled on their floor and hanging in their closet. There hasn’t been a day in their lives, even in our leanest years, that they have gone without the simple protection of bodily protection. [Read more…]

If We Could Capture A Memory In Less Than 1/2″…


 Can we catch a memory and put it into a box?


This small piece of plastic, a simple souvenier  from a theme park, holds a memory in it’s aqua casing.

From the outside, it appears ordinary. [Read more…]

When Your Child Wants To Travel The World (but you don’t want to let go…)


My youngest daughter wants to travel to Guatemala.

Her walls have long been plastered with maps of the world. Her globe lamp shines above her as she reads and dreams in her chair. Bookshelves hold rows of neatly organized National Geographic magazines.

And now, her hope is set on a mission trip to a country the size of Tennessee, with a population of 14 million people.

The problem of course, for me, is that mixed in with her young woman features is the face of my little girl. My baby. That I have kept near and relatively safe.


My oldest daughter is choosing to not go to college at this time. She wants to travel the world too.

Her childhood dreams included being a Missionary pilot, or mushing dogs in Alaska.

She is saving money. For dreams so much bigger than my own. So different.

11 countries in 11 months is what she aims for with a worldwide missionary adventure.

The problem of course, for me, it that her woman-self that gently smiles down at me, mirrors the eyes and face of my firstborn. My baby. That I have kept near and relatively safe. [Read more…]

Awesome Book and DVD Giveaway


Allume had some very generous sponsors this year! I toted home so many gifts, that I am sharing with you.  I threw in a few DVD’s too, just to help you relax this holiday season.

Whether you decide to keep them,or this helps you tackle your list of presents to buy, I pray you will be blessed.

Here’s what the winner will receive:

[Read more…]

Being A Real Friend In A Social Media World

Being a real friend in a social media world is rare.

We follow and tweet and share. All the while imagining that these virtual exchanges are enough.

That they create relationship.

Yet, I still hear the heart cries of people longing for true and deep friendship. Loneliness that echoes with hopeful reverberation as they take a chance to reach out to someone they’d like to know better.

People can dialogue all they please with quips and commentary under 140 words. That isn’t relationship. But it is a start. (tweetable)

social media [Read more…]

Thankful For Grandmas

November 2008 464

There is no treasure quite like a grandmother.

In my own life, my grandma has been a constant source of support and unconditional love.

As a little girl until I was fortunate to live close to her. We had special things we did, just us. If I came to spend the night we’d drive to the Alpha Beta grocery store and pick up supplies for blueberry pudding and blueberry pancakes.

Blueberry pudding is really a cake with a warm lemon sauce poured on top. At nights when my grandparents were asleep, I ‘d sneak into the kitchen and carefully slice off just a little more. And a little more. [Read more…]

I Didn’t Expect To Meet Garcay In Greenville


While in South Carolina last week, I had the pleasure of an afternoon outing with friends. Caryn Christensen and Brianna Wasson are also writers who’d come to meet up at Allume.

We’d brought our cameras and were exploring downtown Greenville together.

The weather was warm and the people friendly, but I think the best shot was quite unexpected during a quick afternoon stroll to before going home.

Garcay took me by surprise…

_DSC0565 [Read more…]


Pumpkin Memories


My family spent a fun evening carving pumpkins last night.

Jack 0’lanterns appearing from soft, orange, autumn canvases.

This simple time of creation took me back decades in memory of doing this activity with my own parents.

_DSC0508-1 [Read more…]