Saturday, 14 March 2009

A Special Bond . . .

I have two really special girls in my life, and a really special guy, my two daughter’s in law and my son in law. I love each one of them with all of my heart and for different reasons, not the least of all being because my children love them and they make my children happy.

I always hoped through the years that I would be a good mother-in-law. We’ve all heard the jokes (take my mother-in-law please) and know that they are sometimes pretty awful things to have in a family. I was always really lucky with mine. My ex mother in law was a sweetheart and I have always loved her dearly. She was a beautiful example to me of what a mother in law should be and the type of mother in law I wanted to be to my future sons and daughters in law.

My oldest son, Anthony, was the first of my children to marry and he married his high school sweetheart, Anne. She’s a lovely girl and quite a bit like me, or at least I like to think she is at any rate. She’s got a big heart and a great sense of humour, and she’s a good wife and mother. She’s kind and loving, and very, very patient! She has a gentle nature. I fell in love with her probably not too long after my son did and I could see from the beginning that she was perfect for him. I watched her the last time we were home with their little Gabriel, and I could see that she was devoted to that gorgeous little boy and that she was a wonderful mother. I am so pleased that the Lord brought her into our lives.

My youngest daughter, Amanda, got married next. She married Tom, a handsome young man she met when she was at University. I don’t know Tom all that well, but then, I don’t really need to. The fact that my daughter loves him and that he’s very good and loving to her is all I need to know. From what I have seen of him he seems a very kind, thoughtful and caring individual. I believe he is also patient, but then he’d have to be for our Amanda is very headstrong and stubborn. I think he’s perfect for her and I can see that when they are together, they are very clearly in love with each other. That always makes a mother happy to know that their children are settled and loved.

My middle son, Doug, was the next to marry, and I’m sorry to say that I don’t know his wife, Kayla, very well at all either. They, too, met at University and fell in love. I know that she makes my son happy and that he loves her to bits. She is a great mom to my grandsons Jonathan and Joshua. She is quite a crafty gal in that she loves to do handicrafts and cook, and in that way, she is quite a bit like me. The fact that she and Doug spent their honeymoon with Todd and I at my mother’s, spoke volumes to me about the kind of woman she was, and the type of wife she would be to my son. I knew that my son’s happiness was important to her, maybe the most important thing to her. She was gentle and kind and caring. I knew that his heart was in good hands. What more could a mother ask for?

A mother wants nothing more for her children than for them to be happy, and for them to pick partners in life that will help them to be happy and help to bring out the best in them. I’ve been blessed three times over in the partners my children have chosen to share their lives with. I wish that I lived closer so that I could spend more time with them, and become more than just their mother-in-law, for I’d love to become their friend. I hope that they know that I love them and that I pray for them each and every day. I care about them and I hope that my children are as good and loving in return to them as they can possibly be. The mother part of me knows that they are. How could they not be?

I love to cook, as you know. I love cooking complicated recipes and stretching my talents, which is probably why I love my job so much. I also love to take ordinary ingredients, and turn them into something fabulous, such as this recipe I am sharing with you today. My Todd loves these and so do I! (But then . . . the potato is my favourite vegetable.)

*Crispy Oven Fries*
Serves 4

This is a delicious way to take ordinary frozen French fries and turn them into something special. They are very similar to the loaded fries that you can get in some restaurants in North America. I like to use the chunky steak fries that you can get that are low in fat and still have the skins on. You end up with lovely tasty potatoes, with crunchy brown bits, all totally delicious!

1 (24 ounce) bag of frozen French fries

½ tsp garlic powder

½ tsp chili powder

½ tsp onion powder

Salt and pepper to taste

1 cup sharp cheddar cheese

2 TBS chopped fresh parsley

½ cup single cream

Pre-heat the oven to 230*C/450*F. Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking dish.

Toss the French fries together with the garlic powder, chili powder, onion powder, parsley and salt and pepper to taste. Make sure the spices are well distributed. Pour them into the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle the cheese evenly over top and then pour on the single cream.

Cover the dish tightly with foil, and then bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for 10 to 15 minutes longer, or until they are bubbly and slightly browned.

You can add bacon bits as well if you want. They are a delicious addition!


  1. What wonderful people your children have married. It sounds like they make great choices in mates! I hope my kids will grow up and find people to fall in love with that will appreciate and love them like that!

    Wonderful looking potatoes Marie! My whole family would gobble those right up! Have a super weekend!


  2. Sorry, I was so knocked out by that recipe that I hit the publish button by mistake!

    I can't speak about sons and daughters in law because I have none but I do try to be a half decent sister in law.

    love, Angie, xx

  3. I've got to try these. They look fabulous!

    I'm sure you're a fabulous mother in law! How could you not be? I'm so happy all your kids met their true loves so early on and didn't have to spend so long searching like you and Todd did! But at least you found each other, right? :)

    Oh Marie. You're the best person I know.

  4. It sounds like you have a wonderful family. Wow those chips look SO much better than plain ones!

  5. This is a lovely portrait post on your in-laws and children, Marie...such fun too everyone's photo too! You are so sweet..I hope they see this post of your :o) Those potatoes are fantastic...mmm...I'm hungry now! A busy weekend here--hubby working, me spring cleaning and working on new things for my shop. Maybe some time to relax tomorrow--LOL! Hope you, Todd & Jess are having a great weekend, my friend! LOVE YOU :O) ((HUGS))

  6. I'm as lucky as you Marie - I have sons-in-law and a daughter-in-law who love my children as much as I do. A mother can't ask for more than that. blessings, marlene

  7. I'm like you and am happy that my children have such good wives and husbands too. Knowing that really does make me feel good. Your potato dish looks so good. I love the way something ordinary can be turned into something grand. Hope your Saturday is a great one.
    'On Ya'-ma

  8. I do so agree about our Childrens partners ,If they make our offspring happy and love them too ,then we love them for that Jan xx

  9. What a blessing to have people come into your family that bring love and you love them. We are both blessed in that regard! I have the best sons-in-laws. They are loving, kind and helpful not only to their family but to me too. We can't ask for any more than that can we?

  10. Hi Marie. It sounds like you are one lovely mother-in-law. I hope I can be half as good as you when the time comes.

    MORE yummy potoato dishes for me to try! You're spoiling me hahahaha.

    Enjoy your Saturday. A xx

  11. how sweet of you to say such wonderful things about your kids spouses! and to feature them on your blog too-hopefully they read it. you are a wonderful mother in law, i'm sure of it!

  12. Hello my dear,
    This is the third time I have come to visit Oak Cottage today.... I guess that the third time is the charm because the other two times I got interupted as soon as I dropped in your door and I had to leave without even saying hello to you. So... hello. I hope that you have had a nice Saturday. Mine is half gone and I have not made a dent in the list of things I wanted to do today.... but the nice thing about being retired is that I no longer only have one day to get all of my "to do" list done.

    You have a beautiful family. I know it is sad for you to live so far away from them. Thanks goodness for Internet and all the modern technology we have that can bring us together with those far away. I can't even imagine how hard it was on our pioneer ancesters who had little or no contact with love ones who did not live close to them.

    Like you, we have good in-laws in my family. They love us and welcome us in their homes. They are good to our children and our grandchildren. They love the Lord and strive to serve Him. We are blessed and love each one. I'm glad that you got to meet two of them. After meeting Patrick and Dathan I am sure you understand why we love them so. Ernie and Marla are also very dear to us. We are thankful to have each one in our family.

    I got a web cam and David helped me set it up. He had me go to and we had a nice video call. It was so fun seeing Dave and his family while we talked. Do you think we could do that too?

    Your potatoes look yummy. That will be another "Marie" dish I will try. We just had the last of your chicken pot pie last night for dinner... good stuff!

    Have a good Sunday. As always, you are in my thoughts and prayers. I love you loads. XOXXO Lura

  13. Hi Marie, I enjoyed your post very much, it reminded me how much I love my sons-in-law. Your in-laws sound like wonderful people who love your children and that makes them just about perfect! In 2008 we got two new sons-in-law, after the heartbreak of divorce for two of our daughters. We are still pinching ourselves about the magnificent young men ALL 3 of our sons-in-law are. We feel so blessed and I'm happy that you are blessed too.

  14. That's such a sweet thing to do, to give thanks for your son & daughters in laws. You're a kind and giving mother-in-law.

  15. What an awesome MIL you are! I too am lucky to have a wonderful MIL and thank my lucky stars that she is so great!!


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