Sunday 20 November 2011

Marie's Sunday Six

Surely my biggest Smilemaker this week had to be finding out I didn't have Cancer. It's pretty hard to top that, let me tell you! When I was waiting to find out if I did or didn't have it I had a pretty scary couple of weeks. I was trying to be very optimistic, of course . . . positive thinking and all that . . . but I couldn't help but try to prepare myself for the worst, just in case. It would be devastating to not be prepared for the worst at all, even in the smallest way. One thought that came to me frequently was the sadness that I would never really get to know these six very special people in my life. The thought of each of them surely brings a smile to my face every minute of my every day!

These are the three pirates in my life . . . Daughter in Law Anne, and grandsons Gabriel (eldest) and lil Luke. They are my oldest sons family. My eldest son has taken the efforts to come and see me each time I have been home, and we have skyped on several occasions so I could talk to the boys. It's a lot of fun skyping when you live so far away. Almost like being together, except you don't get to pinch cheeks and plaster slobbery kisses all over their foreheads!

Gabriel is the oldest at 5 1/2 now. He's in his first year of school and also goes to Beavers, which he really enjoys. He is a sweet sensitive little boy who is filled with curiosity and the joys of life. I find him quite, quite interesting and love seeing the world through his perspective. He's outgoing and gregarious. He reminds me a lot of my son, his father, when he was a boy. Life was always new and exciting! You never knew what was going to be next on the agenda!

Luke is the younger brother and will soon be two. I don't really know him very well, but he seems a sweet little boy too. I think he is also very sensitive and engaging. He likes to eat too, because most of the pictures I have of him he is eating in! I can tell he really looks up to his elder brother because in all of the pictures that they are together in . . . he is looking over at him with love and glee.

These are Doug (my middle son) and Kayla's boys, my other three grandsons . . . Jon is the eldest (5), followed by the little redhead of the family, Josh (3) and then baby Jacob, who just turned one. Three very different and no less loveable boys. I have been able to skype with them as well and the last time I was home to Canada I got to finally meet Jon and Josh for the first time. It was lovely!

Jon is the oldest and is also in his first year of school. He is a little treasure! So full of life and a bit of a ham as far as I can tell from the videos and photos that I have seen. He is very sweet and protective of his younger brothers. You can tell he takes the big brother position in the family very much to heart! He loves music and zoo animals.

Josh is three and the only red head in our family. I just adore his pretty blue eyes. He is very shy and sensitive as well. I am sure he really blossoms when he is around people he knows and trusts, but he doesn't know me very well at all and mostly just clung to his father's pants when we were at their house two summers ago. Mind you he was only about 18 months old then, so it isn't a surprise that he was a bit shy with us. He seems to be a thinker, a sweet little boy.

Jacob is my youngest grandson and just turned one year old on the 16th of November. He's just beautiful. He looks so much like his father, our Doug, that they could be twins! Right from those big baby blues to that curly mop of golden hair. Our Doug had a mop of curls just like that! I don't know very much about him, but he seems to be a very happy boy and an enjoyer of all that is around him. I got to see a video of him walking last week, and there is also a photo of him helping to sweet his other nan's floor. That broom looks ever so tall next to him. He seems a delightful little chap and I look forward to getting to know him and his brothers much better as they get older.

This is my youngest Grandchild, Maryn, the only girl in the bunch and the daughter of our Amanda and her husband Tom. I have not been able to get to know her at all. She will be a year in February. My youngest daughter is somewhat estranged from me, but I do get to see pictures of little Maryn on the computer. I think, quite naturally, she is just the cutest little Ladybird that I have ever seen!

She looks very intelligent and inquisitive to me, and very sweet too! I do so hope that I will be able to get to know her as she grows up, but in the meantime I do enjoy seeing the pictures of her as she grows, so very much. There is a little girl in our Ward who was born around the same time and so I look to her and imagine how much little Maryn has grown and some of the things that Maryn must be doing now.

Hopefully next summer I will get to meet both her and Jacob. Those are the only two of the grandchildren that I have not had the opportunity to meet in person yet. Grandchildren are wonderful little creatures. They are better than children in a way because you feel like you can freely spoil them . . . and they are your last chance to give some loving back to your own children. When my own children were growing up there was not a lot of time, there was so many of them . . . and not a lot of cash either. I may not get to see my grandchildren very often but I try to reach out to them as best as I can. I like to think of myself as the Present Granny. I do not get to spend time with them, but I can send them little treasures in the post and hopefully they get as much pleasure out of receiving them as I do in sending them!

Anyways, six BIG reasons to smile and to live for! My smilemakers of this last week in November, 2011! Many thanks for indulging this proud and thankful Grandma!!

I was busy most of yesterday but then later in the day I had an opportunity to go into my craft room and put my paints to paper again. This is what I came up with:

I think that I like her a lot . . . even more though . . . I like the words that inspired it. We are all beautiful creatures of light. Some of us may not be able to see our light, but it's there all the same. Sometimes we just need a little reminder of who we are and what we are.

Here's another recipe from my Marie's Muses Archives. It's a delicious steak with an even more delicous mushroom and stilton sauce. I often toy with the idea of becoming a vegetarian, but the thought of never having another steak always stops me. I do so love a good steak!


*Beef Steak with Stilton Mushroom Sauce*
Serves 4
Printable Recipe

This to me has to be the perfect way to cook a steak. Tender, juicy and accompanied with a delicious sauce full of the flavours of mushrooms and tangy stilton cheese. Yummy!

4 (6 ounces) Strip Loin Steaks (You may use other steaks, as long as they are suitable for grilling)
2 tsp chopped fresh tarragon
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper
5 TBS butter
8 ounces sliced mushrooms
1/3 cup dry red wine
½ cup sour cream
3 ounces Stilton or other bleu cheese, crumbled

Rub the steaks with the chopped tarragon and the black pepper. Take a large skillet and heat it over medium high heat. Melt 2 tablespoons of the butter in the skillet until it is foaming. Add the steaks and cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side or to the desired degree of doneness. ( 2 minutes each side for medium rare) Remove the steaks to a warm plate and keep warm while youmake the sauce.

Melt the remaining 3 tablespoons of butter in the same skillet. Add the mushrooms and sauté for 3 to 4 minutes until they are tender. Add the wine, reduce the heat and let itcook for another 1 to 2 minutes to deglaze the pan. Stir in the sour cream and ¼ cup of the cheese. Cook, stirring, until the cheese melts. Season to taste with some salt and pepper.

To serve, drizzle the sauce over the steaks and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. You can garnish with sprigs of tarragon if you wish.

I'm having a Mincemeat Fest over in The English Kitchen today and these scrummy Mincemeat Rolls are on the menu!

“God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example and spend the days of their lives doing good.”
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

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