S’more Love, S’more Fun, S’more Forever

July 8,2014 by Nama

We had the pleasure of celebrating these two cutes on Sunday.

s'more-love-trough-tabletop-sterno-shower-party.jpg  //namafish.com

J.J. and Margit will say “I do” to their Happily Ever After on the Thirtieth of August.

We Celebrated in camp style at J’s childhood home.  It stormed, it rained, it was humid and there were bugs.  It was absolutely perfect as family and a few friends came together to reflect on love, commitment, family and forever.

s'more-love-trough-tabletop-sterno-shower-party.jpg  //namafish.com

i offered to put together a S’more Bar as the sweet treats of the day. Continue reading

Wisdom from My Man + Recipe + North Woods Pictures

First the good stuff…
My Man jotted a little thought on Facebook last evening and i had to move it over here for posterity.   He is wise, he is a man of so few words i wish to capture most of  what he says and put it in a safe box, knowing someday someone will read and learn from Tim’s years of seeking his Lord.  Here Tim talks about Goals, Gold and God.
Ahh- but the trick is to know that our goal and God’s goal for us are the same goal.  There is inherent danger in believing the financial success or achieving our own “personal” goals is in some way evidence that we are aligned with God’s vision for us.  Poverty and prison may be God’s perfect path for some.  We need to be ever so mindful that pursuit of our own goals is not inhibiting God’s refinement in our hearts. That is where the true gold lies.  by Tim Fischer/Pappa/My Man
This is also good stuff, not quite as profound, but good.  You can google a million recipes and variations on anything you might want to learn to cook for your family.  The problem i see with a blind google is this, you don’t know what you will end up with until you have tried the recipe.  i won’t say my recipes are The Best, i will say they are my family’s favorites, they are tried, you will succeed with them and usually they are easy and affordable.  i live a life of extreme dichotomy.  i want old fashioned fat filled comfort food for breakfast, by dinner time i want light, healthy, fitness promoting fare.  This recipe comes from my love affair with midwest church potluck casseroles, one of the many that  contains Campbell’s magic in a can.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Nama’s Tater Tot Hotdish

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Ingredients needed:

1 pound ground beef (you could substitute turkey or chicken)

salt, pepper

onion powder,  you could use minced fresh onion (My Man is not having that)

garlic powder   (i use fresh crushed garlic)

seasoning salt

4 cups frozen mixed vegetables (any that your family enjoys), mine like corn, green beans, carrots and green peas. This is heavy on the veggies for nutrition.

2 (19 ounce) cans cream soup , you may use family favorites, i use reduced fat celery or chicken.

1 (32 ounce) package frozen potato rounds/Tater Tots/Tater Puffs….you know what i’m talking about.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Brown 1 pound ground meat in skillet, season with 1/4 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp.  black pepper, 1/2 tsp. onion powder, 1/2 tsp. garlic powder ( or 1 tsp. crushed garlic) .  Drain excess fat.


Mix together in large bowl:  Browned meat, frozen vegetables and cream soup.

Notice the creased back edge of this bowl, our Tylor (now 26) sat in the bowl one evening after the popcorn was all gone, making himself comfortable while finishing the movie Balto,  he was such a happy little guy in his little nest.  i treasure all the little gingerbread crumbs that remain along this family path we walk.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Spray a 9×13 pan with aerosol olive oil, spread meat/veggie mixture evenly in pan.  i often double or triple the recipe and freeze a couple.  This was a meal for tonight, a meal for the freezer and a meal to share with a new mamma and daddy.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

Top the meat mixture with the potato things.

My clan likes the Tots alot so i waste a whole bunch of time and line them up standing on end, i really really am ridiculous enough to do this everytime i make the casserole.  You may say “just dump a bunch on, pile them up, you get lots-a- tots that way!”  The problem…they don’t all get a crisp top surface, and that crispy top really makes or breaks the tot deliciousness.  The image shows the other more reasonable options, long aligning or random dump.  Once you have your top covered in tots sprinkle ever so lightly with seasoning salt.

Bake at 350 degrees until heated through, bubbly and the Tater Tots are slightly crispy brown on top, 45min-1 hour.

Now a few more fun vacation pictures.  i am pretty sure from tater tots to tadpoles is not an ideal transition, but here goes.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner-tadpole .jpg //namafish.com


tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner.jpg //namafish.com

There were thousands of these guys our first evening at the beach.


Finley loved them.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner-tadpole .jpg //namafish.com

She wanted to get closer and learned to say  “Tadpole”.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner-tadpole .jpg //namafish.com

Blessing caught them.

tator-tot-hotdish-family-dinner-tadpole .jpg //namafish.com

A Grandma, a Nama, an Aunty, Finney and a “tadpole” that had turned into a frog. (in Grandma Linda’s hand) Grandma Linda is more fun with frogs than Nama, and is anyone else concerned about the “caution” shed in the background ?

We shared 4 of our vacation days with Tiffany’s parents and sister.  One of my favorite experiences as a grandma is sharing the grandbabies with the other set of grandparents.  Double the fun to see others treasuring our little jewels as much as we do.

Make New Friends but Keep the Old

Blessing and i shared a very sweet adventure today.  We joined a local homeschool group to tour our local International Friendship Garden.

I gave Blessing the camera and told her it was her job to get lots of cool pictures.

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

Friend’s Feet.

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That was thoughtful of her to capture my chicken wings, they are her favorite source of hysterical entertainment when we are driving down the highway, it could drive a mother to wear long sleeves on a 90 degree day.

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com


International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

How cool is this? Blessing didn’t want to get close enough to snap a picture, she thinks actually is terrified of spiders but one of the other moms encouraged her and she got this.

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

Sweet friend’s pretty little face.

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Apartments nearby + artistic frame of tree branches.

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Chinese Pond.

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Friends on bridge. (i took this)

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

Off to the bandshell for some improv, Stone Soup was “performed” for the mammas. (and this)

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

Our tour guide was a dear friend of many years,  such fun to see her in her element.

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

Pretty Poppies.

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International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com


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Few things delight my mamma heart like watching Blessing be a Friend.  She has no inhibitions and loves EVERYONE she meets. (clearly Blessing did not take this, off my cell phone)

International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com


International-friendship-garden.jpg  //namafish.com

Some friends we  had met before or known for sometime, some we met today…

You couldn’t tell the silver from the gold, such a rich opportunity to grow and learn together in our own little village.


We are up to this again, cuz it is so yummy.

i must go whip up a French Silk Pie for our Birthday Boys.  i might share my simple recipe if someone asks nicely.



The Everyday Extraordinary

june3, 2014 by nama

She hugged me good-bye and said thank you six hours ago.  i said, “No.  Thank you for the gift of your today.”

We planned to do the everyday together.  Tasks needed to be completed.  Beads weighed and measured.  Straight lines drawn and wavering lines sewn.

Six hours after goodbye i wandered to the untidy kitchen to fill a bedside glass of water.  i spot the abandoned tea party, i savor the refreshment, treasure the truth and rejoice in the friendship.

Tea-time //namafish.com

I linger in the encouragement.

I marvel at His plan, doing the ordinary together.  Finding the extraordinary hidden in the hurts of honest hearts, woven into the words of  willing women, sewn into the deepest fibers of seeking souls.

Tea-time //namafish.com

The little girls had raspberry “Tea” in big girl china. 

The mammas had strong coffee in everyday stoneware.

We shared strawberries,  blueberries and pretzel thins with havarti.

The little girls played baby dolls and wanted to swim.

The mammas talked of their babies and wanted guarantees.

Tea-time (3)

The little girls asked for more sugar.

The mammas asked for more hope and courage.

Nine hours of ordinary intended to accomplish planned projects.

Tea-time //namafish.com

Nine hours of extraordinary.

Nine hours of hope for tomorrow, next week and 30 years from now.

Nine hours that linger and bless long after the ordinary called us back to lists, tasks, texts and time watching.

She says she prayed and the Lord gave her a mentor.  i say, my Lord knew i had  much to learn and she would teach me.

We don’t lunch, shop, fashion one another or plan day trips and girls nights out.

We do life, we cry, we step over the toys and push aside the pile of mending to make room for a second sewing machine.

Watch for the chance to let your ordinary become extraordinary.

Strawberries and Tea-Time //namafish.com

Slow down enough to rinse the berries and share them with someone who has time to listen, or needs to be heard.

Pause, listen and learn, the extraordinary is waiting in the quiet of the everyday.

It is easy to miss in the business of one more game, important studies and scheduled relationships.

The good is not always HIS best, the everyday may be where He wants to give you His most beautiful.

Weighted Blankets

Our planned project will be shared in tomorrow’s post.

Intentional, because it won’t just happen

Mostly i am tired and worn and look the part.

IMG_5068That is why 95% of me is cropped out of this image.  i look like a tired old Nama.  i am just not secure enough for that nonsense.

When i am tired, my default mood is C. R. A. B. B. Y.  i am a mess.  Is that normal or did i get an extra dose of ” not nice lady”?

If i run on instinct and feeling alone, most hours out of your average day or week are not going to be pretty.  i have to be intentional in my choices, i have to purpose each day to do the best rather than alot of  good.

i purpose to do what matters most.  To do what has proven to bring worthy results.  To just be stinkin kind.  To give more than i require.  To think of others for just a moment before i spout my need.  To find a gem to treasure in the gravel pit of everydayness.

Yesterday i slugged to the kitchen and baked this,

Best Banana Bread Ever

Because Kaydra’s Cody is moving out of our little neighborhood very soon and it is his favorite and i had brown bananas and it would be good to have for the grandbabies who will be here the next two day.

Capture.JPG banana bread Here is a pin for you, i am trying hard to make our time together fun and easy for you.

Everyday  most days i read all or part of these daily thoughts.  They are filled with sound old wisdom, i can count on them.  They bring me back to Truth and Hope and the things that are worthy of  intentional commitment.

Streams in the Desert

My Utmost for His Highest

Charles Spurgeon

Daily Light on the Daily Path

We have our California Jewels without Mamma and Daddy for the rest of the week.


Pappa filled some buckets with water last night so they would warm overnight.  We could have run to Walmart and grabbed a kiddie pool.  We are intentionally choosing to treasure what we already have been blessed with + when you are tired and nearing crabby it isn’t wise to add one more thing to the list, at least it is not wise in our neck of the woods.  Buckets work just fine, right?


We are all a bit weary from the parade of fun, the baby girls have fevers.


We are going to step over this, yes that is a swing in our kitchen.


We are going to leave this sit right there for later play.


We are ignoring this until a day when the babies aren’t here.  We only have THIS moment, that is truth whether they live in California or our basement bedroom.


We are going to laugh.  (Kingston was teasing Aunty Kaydra.)


We are going to work together.  (Blessing got both babies ready for bed all by herself because “I can just tell you are tired, Mamma.”)


And we will snuggle.

Because these things last.  i do not do well in disorder but i can not allow the clatter of the urgent and ever undone to crowd out the important.  i must intentionally say no over and over to create room for saying yes to the best.

Say yes to your  intentional BEST today.  Say no to something that “needs” to be done so you can say yes to something that must be done.


This little guy was exploring Nama and Pappa’s house last night. Several times he said,   ” Nama, i member this!”  Kingston is a young three year old, he has been to our home a generous handful of time.  Nama and Pappa’s is a long trip from California.  But he remembers, he is being affected by our choices.  We are imprinting those around us whether we are intentional about it or not.  (the paci is because Daddy is in California and Mamma is in Milwaukee and Nama and Pappa are pushovers.)  Sorry Travis and Melissa, but not all that sorry.

Read something of value today.  Stop the rat race long enough to reflect on what you want to remember about today.  Make time to invest in another life.  Build a relationship.  Share a story of hope.  Decide what things matter most and do those things intentionally and with all of your heart.

I am going to snuggle those big brown eyes while his sissy sleeps.  In 48 hours he will be on a plane headed back to California with his mamma.  If we want him to care what we have to say 15 years from now, we will have to prove to him we care and are worthy of his time by sharing legos, and tigers and Toy Story now.

Blog Business: i am not apologizing for the poor iphone pictures.  The phone is what i could reach at the moment and that was good enough for me.

Are you tired of my “why the little i?” links yet ?

You should really try that Banana Bread, it is good.  Our Cody has eaten most of a loaf.


7 Simple Steps to The Best Sweet Corn Ever

may 28, 2014 by nama


Fresh Corn (bought mine at Aldi, pre-husked)

Lemon Juice, fresh or bottled (i almost always use bottled)

Granulated Sugar or Alternative Sweetener ( i am learning about these, sugar is not kind to me)

Large Kettle, Water and Ice


1.  Remove husks and silk from Sweet Corn.

2.  Place corn in cooking kettle and cover with cold water.  If the corn will be sitting for more than 30 minutes before you cook, add some ice to keep the corn fresh.


3.  For each 4 quarts of water and ice you used:  add 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice.  This will tenderize the corn and add a very nice subtle  flavor.

Alternative Sweeteners ://Namafish.com

Learning to use Alternative Sweeteners

4.  For each 4 quarts of water and ice you used:  add 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar or alternative sweetener.  Mix in.  Sweet deliciousness!

***No Salt Please, salt will make the corn tough.***

5.  Allow the corn to soak for at least 30 minutes.  Longer is fine, if you plan to serve the corn later in the week you may refrigerator for several day.

When you are ready to cook the corn, drain off most of the water and ice, leave about 1/2 inch of water on the bottom of the kettle.  You will steam the corn rather than boil it.  Steaming locks all the sweet yummy flavor in each kernel. Roasting and grilling are also great options here.  Boiling = all the flavor washing down the drain.  This is sad.


6. Stand the corn on end in kettle, cover and turn the heat on high.  Remember to leave 1/2 inch of  water in the bottom of the kettle.


7.  Cook on high until the corn turns a dark golden color.  This will typically take 5-7 minutes.  My kettle is a 12 quart stock pot.


When your corn reaches this deep rich golden color turn off the heat, cover and allow to sit until you are ready to serve.


Most of my clan adds a bunch of butter, salt and pepper to their corn at this point.  I like a dash of Tabasco sauce and fresh cilantro.  If you haven’t tried it you are missing out. We are split right down the middle as far as “on the cob” or cut off the cob.  i like mine off, Tim likes his on.

You don’t have to add much to fresh sweet corn for a perfect meal.  We had Turkey Italian Sausages last night.  Some of us did the traditional bun with ketchup and mustard sandwich.  i like my protein without the carbs, just along side my pile of corn.


My Man brought me my favorite, fresh cut lilacs, from our backyard cuz he read my post yesterday and is holding up his end of this deal we made 33 years ago.  He is a keeper.


Love Lots, Give Lots, Forgive Lots, Smell the lilacs and find some sweet corn for  your menu.  Life is that simple if we let it be.

Tell me, what is on your menu this week?

Sweet and Tender Corn, My Favorite ://Namafish.com

Sweet and Tender Corn, The Best ://Namafish.com

An image for you to Pin, cuz i am kind like that.