Jersey Shore Journal

Jersey Shore Journal - Life and Times at the Jersey Shore

Sunday, November 29, 2009

We Need a Little Christmas

We Need a Little Christmas

by Jennifer

I love the Christmas traditions-getting out the same treasures year after matter the circumstances of health or trials each year brings...there is a consistency in the continuance of our Christmas traditions: the nativity, the evergreen wreath, the same decorations on the tree, the same lights, the same turkey and stuffing and pumpkin pie. We thrive on these traditions and as I get older they are more precious and not just formalities.

There is the stress of getting the cards written, the gifts bought and wrapped... did I get each person a meaningful gift? Much of this pressure we put on ourselves. I still like sending cards, because it is the one time of year I reach out to many old friends.

The good book says, "It is better to give than receive", but it is never better to go into debt. For those that have money, it is a privilege to help those who need. When we compare ourselves with the whole world, having heat and fresh water we have more than many in the world and we are kings!

Charles Finney, the 19th Century revivalist, taught the unsatisfying nature of material things. Of course, there is the high of getting something new...but anything new, later becomes old and loses it's luster. That is because by nature and design by God, these things only give temporary pleasure.

The things in life that remain are relationships, time and the memories that are made in simple pleasures like taking a walk in the woods or on the beach; teaching a young one how to follow a recipe, measure flour and crack an egg; how to tie a knot or tie their shoes; how to set the table; how to say please and thank you; taking someone out Christmas shopping who doesn't drive; babysitting for a friend with little ones; making a batch of cookies to share with a neighbor. I'm sure you can add more.

The way we spell LOVE is T-I-M-E. Christ taught us it is better to give than receive and if we do it to the least we do it unto him. I firmly believe charity begins at home, because if we lose our children to the world or our marriages, what good is any of it. But home is only the beginning.

God's gift to man is that he gave. We give to others to show our love. In the past, most mothers stayed at home and kept the home fires burning, literally. In today's world of dual careers, women face the added pressure of doing it all. It's impossible. Let's reread the Proverbs 31 Woman. Some years I choose to do less in some areas to take the pressure off. Maybe I don't bake any cookies one year, or make lasagna ahead, so there is no fuss on Christmas Day.

Sit back and watch old videos of your family interacting. I am always struck by little ones asking adults questions and often times being ignored. Kids don't want things as much as they want us.

Take a deep breath, say a prayer to be more Christ-like this Christmas and remember to lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven where neither moths nor rust destroy nor thieves break in and steal. It is not all or nothing. It is in finding the balance that we will inherit the earth, because as the song goes, "We need a little Christmas, right this very minute." Amen.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

We Give Thanks!

Here are the ones who got it all started.
God is faithful!


Wishing Everyone a Happy Thanksgiving! My tables are already set, 1st turkey, cheese cake, cole slaw and corn pudding all done. We will have a house full this year. Wishing you all much love and comfort from all our loved ones and and most of all God Bless Us Everyone!

Here are some of our decorations...

Front door Welcome!

The reason for the season!

The last of the pumpkins.

Mums galore!

Tom turkey and the pilgrims

The hors d'oeuvres table


Tuesday, November 24, 2009


I got to hear Nicole Sponberg while in Marietta GA at my sister's (Jessica and I)a few yrs ago @ a Church ladies luncheon and house tour. I just learned she lost her 2nd baby to SIDS in 2008. Her brother Todd Smith, from Selah, also lost their baby a few days after the birth. This song has new meaning...

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Thanksgiving Recipes

My husband loves my Mom's pie. It is light and custard-like.

The Best Pumpkin Pie

1 piecrust

1 1/2 c. canned pumpkin

¾ c. sugar

½ t. salt

1 ¼ t. cinnamon

½ t. ginger ¼ t. nutmeg ¼ t. cloves

3. eggs slightly beaten

1 ¼ c. whole milk

1 -6 oz. can evaporated milk

Mix ingredients. Pour into crust.

Bake 400 degrees 50 min. Cool. Refrigerate. Top with whipped cream!

Awesome Garlic Mashed Potatoes

12 potatoes peeled and cooked or frozen mashed potatoes, thawed.

8 oz. sour cream

8 oz. cream cheese

1 T. butter

2 t. salt

1/8 t. pepper

½ t. paprika

1- 2 cloves garlic, crushed

Mash potatoes and combine w other ingredients.

Pour in 13 x 9 pan. Bake 350 30 minutes. Garnish w chives. Can be made a few days ahead!

Candied Yams

3. T. butter

3 T. milk

½ c. brown sugar

1 can yams, drained (40 oz.) or fresh yams (6) cooked and peeled.

Melt butter slowly. Add milk and brown sugar. Cook til thick syrup.

Add drained yams and cook until warm.

Corn Pudding

2 T. butter 2 T. flour 1 can cream corn ½ t. sugar ½ t. salt 1/8 t. pepper

2 eggs beaten 1 cup milk

Melt butter. Add all ingredients. Pour in greased 8 inch square pan.

Bake 300 for 1 hour.

Pictured above: My mantle w an original Harry Shourds Sandpiper Decoy

We Give Thanks!

I wrote this list 2 years ago. I could write this same list today. I am grateful for God's continual faithfulness. What's on your list?

What I am thankful for:

1. A loving family

2. All our good health

3. A wonderful husband with a good job

4. Living in America

5. Forgiveness of my sins

6. Second chances

7. Wonderful friends!

6.The sun is out!

7. I am thankful for days off! Some cultures work 7 days a week!

8.Thankful I can exercise.

9. I am thankful both our kids sold their houses in slow markets and live closer. 5 grandchildren and one on the way!

10. I am thankful for the beautiful Atlantic Ocean and long walks on the beach and boardwalk in the early morning...thank you God!

11. I am grateful both my parents are still with us and have great doctors. Dr Horowitz and great drs at Shore and Jefferson! Thanks God for your care over all our loved ones!

12. I am thankful all the bountiful food we have to enjoy!

13. I am thankful my children married wonderful Christian spouses and are raising their children for the Lord!

14. I am thankful for the 8 years George W. Bush was President. Please raise up righteous leaders and send revival.

15. I am thankful for our brave Military who protect us every day!

16. Many answers to prayer. God's still small voice.

Grand Marnier & Stuffed Cranberry Sauce

Paula Deen's Cranberry Sauce stuffed w cream cheese, mayo & pecans is very yummy!

Here is a recipe for Grand Marnier Cranberry Sauce. Rachael Ray suggests pouring some Grand Marnier on whole cranberry sauce (from the can) and add some orange juice and peel) a quicker method! Must try.


* 1 12-ounce package of fresh cranberries
* 1 1/4 cup sugar
* 2 tablespoon frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed
* 2 tablespoon Grand Marnier or other orange-flavored liqueur


1. Preheat oven to 325F degrees.

2. Place cranberries in 8x8x2-inch glass baking dish.

3. Sprinkle sugar, then orange juice concentrate over.

4. Cover tightly with foil.

5. Bake until juices form and cranberries are very soft, about 1 hour.

6. Uncover; mix in liqueur.

7. Cover and refrigerate until very cold, about 4 hours. Makes 2 cups.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Thanksgiving Table

I'm getting excited about Thanksgiving being just around the corner. Almost time to get the turkey and all the fixin's. Thought I would share some pics from last Thanksgiving. This year we will be having 12- plus 2- 1 year olds in high chairs...should be fun. My Lenox China pattern is Autumn.

Notice the leaf tree my daughter and her kids made w a leaf place card for each at the table. So cute!

Then we will be off to Florida to see the Nutcracker Ballet w my 2 nieces! And then Christmas will be upon us...and all the fun parties and shopping and eating. That is why we are back at the gym in earnest...and no more pumpkin pie for a while : (

Here are some pics of our table, my family and time at Willow Valley in Lancaster last yr to celebrate our anniversary w everyone. It is the best family friendly hotel and the food is dieting there!

When hope all is well w all bloggers! I must make a list of all I am thankful for...and my fav recipes for Thanksgiving!! next blog!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Anniversaries and Birthdays

We are having such nice weather in the north east...and the leaves keep falling and falling...I wanted to show some pics from my son's wedding 5 yrs ago, pictures in Leaming's Run Gardens...They eloped that Oct...and then we had a reception on my parent's dock in Ocean City in the summer. They are such a sweet couple and now have little Adley...a sweet 1 yr old...
Here I am in my Lily Pulitzer dress with my other granddaughter Gracie and good friend Val...
Happy Anniversary...may your love continue to grow....

Going to visit my great Aunt on Sat...she is turning 101 yrs old!!

I am enjoying reading all your blogs...keep up the good writing...

Jennifer aka Gigi

Monday, November 2, 2009

Pumpkin Roll Dessert

My grand daughter and I had success with making a pumpkin roll! The recipe and pictures follow!
Libby’s Pumpkin roll
You’ll need a 15 x 10 inch pan. I used an aluminum foil one from the super market. I also used parchment paper.
Use plenty of 10x sugar on the towel.

Trick or treating

Hope you all had fun eating Halloween candy…My grandkids went as a Princess, King Arthur, a Kittie Cat and an Octopus! I am still enjoying Goobers, Reese’s cups, Good n Plenty and Nestles Crunch!