Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Wishbone Tradition

I expect it’s a fairly common ritual, practiced by families across America, to carve their Thanksgiving turkey carefully around the sacred wishbone so it can be momentarily protected from harm, only to be ripped apart later to pay homage to some pagan god who grants wishes to the “winner” – he (or she) who retained the larger of the two parts.

Sarcasm aside (and not for some fanatical faith-based beliefs against wish-making) that’s not the Wishbone Tradition in the Yost home.

For all the years we’ve been a family (including our first Thanksgiving together, the year before Edward and I married) we’ve kept the wishbone from our Thanksgiving turkey as a reminder of another year that we were so blessed to have things to be thankful for.

This year, although I am certainly thankful for all the things I am always thankful for… my Lord, my husband, my children, my church, my health, my job … I’m particularly thankful for God’s faithfulness through, what could be (what should be), a very trying financial time for our family.

Despite my husbands unplanned 22-month gap in employment, we have faithfully tithed and God has faithfully ensured our savings would stretch further than I thought possible. God has used these months to teach us patience, obedience, patience, trust and patience.

After this year’s wishbone dries enough for me to write “2009” on it, I will not break it in half and “wish” for Edward to find a job (although I will pray to God for it). Instead, I will place it with the others to remember 2009 as a year of amazing joy for God’s faithfulness, knowing how precious and exclusive it is that we have been first-hand witnesses to God’s promise proved.

May your Thanksgiving memories – past, present and those yet to be made – and God’s blessings in your life be forever-captured in your memories, hearts and traditions.


Monday, November 23, 2009

Semi-Traditional Sweet Potatoes

My office held its annual Thanksgiving Pot-luck luncheon last week and it always amazes me how many people ask for the recipe for this dish because it’s just so simple and basic. If you’re looking for an easy, semi-traditional dish for your Thanksgiving table, try this one out:

Shopping List:
3-4 large cans of yams/sweet potatoes (Bruce’s or Glory Sweet Traditions are my pick)
1 bag of mini marshmallows
1 box of Maple & Brown Sugar instant oatmeal packs (Quaker, of course)
Dark brown sugar (optional)

I've cooked this recipe two different ways: In a glass baking dish or in a crock pot. For my taste, the glass baking dish wins hands down, but if you are bringing the dish to someone else’s house, the crock pot version will be better for keeping it warm and it will still be pretty darn good. If you are using a glass baking dish, make sure you choose a size that will allow you to spread your 3 or 4 cans of yams out into a tight but single layer. If you are using a crock pot, you are going to build this dish one can per layer.

PREHEAT oven to 400 degrees.

YAMS: Open your cans of yams and drain off all liquid. In baking dish, gently pour out all cans and spread out to cover dish bottom. In crock pot, pour out one can, skip to the Topping step and repeat "topping" process with each additional layer.

TOPPING: Into a microwaveable dish, pour 3/4 cup marshmallows times the number of cans you're using (3 cans = 2 1/4 cups, etc.) then open and pour out dry oatmeal packets over the marshmallows, 1 packet for each can you used (3 cans=3 packets). OPTIONAL - add 1 tsp of brown sugar per each bag of oatmeal to the topping bowl to achieve a darker more caramelized affect, but the dish is absolutely sweet enough without it. Cook on high for 25 to 50 seconds and KEEP AN EYE ON IT. If it starts expand over the sides, pull it out. Mix promptly to achieve a "rice crispy treat" type texture. Break off pieces of the mix in the size of almonds and walnuts and sprinkle across the dish. When you run out, use remaining mini marshmallows to fill in to gaps.

COOK: place you dish in the oven at 400 for approximately 15 then increase the heat to 475 for an additional 10-15 minutes, but keep your eye on it so the marshmallows don’t get too dark (unless that’s the way you like them, MOM).

And it’s done! Enjoy!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Up Top, God!

Did you ever want to just give God a high-five?

I not talking about the kind of heartfelt thanks and praise we give to God for our daily bread or a long petitioned prayer. I'm sure we've all been there (daily, I'd hope).

I'm talking about the spontaneous need that was only made known a tenth of a second before it was met with God’s “Yes” before your brain could even finish the thought, “how’m I gonna ---.”

Maybe it’s in the timing only God could pull off that parts three miles of DC gridlock so a mother can make a dash through an opening in the cars to make a green light that allows her to get home 30 seconds before her son’s bus drops him off at the corner rather than what would surely have been 10 or 15 minutes of him sitting on the front step.

Don’t think God’s in things that small? As she speeds through the break in traffic, one hand on the wheel, the other in the air, exclaiming “Thank You, Jesus!” …just waiting for God to return that high-five – she does. I do!

I believe God is in those little moments as much as He’s in the miraculous recoveries that people pray for months and years for that are finally met with God’s healing hand. God deserves high-fives for those too, but imagine those miracles are met with more traditional forms of praise and thanksgiving. The high-five just wouldn’t seem like enough.

When the boys were just two and three years old, we were driving down the highway through the daily afternoon Florida sun-shower when the car in front of me slammed on his brakes. I reacted in kind, but the tires locked up and my car spun off the road into the grass median, circling like a Disney Teacup toward the oncoming traffic of the other side of the highway.

Before I could even put an expletive together, the car straightened out to slide perfectly sideways for an additional 10 or 20 feet right up to a YIELD sign that I could have rolled down the driver’s window and touched once the car stopped – just 2 or 3 inches from the car. Not. A. Scratch. I turned around to see if the boys were okay – imagining that could have been terrifying – and Derek was clapping “yeaaaa.”

High-five, God! Before I even realized I had a need, You met it. Thank you for the little things, the big things and all the things in between. They are all Yours!

High-five, God! Up Top!

Monday, November 9, 2009

INTJ – Our Jokes Aren’t Like Your Jokes

Have you seen this latest Intel commercial? I know … I really enjoy it way too much.

I have found myself playing it over and over just in the short time it took me to put this blog post together. I am such a geek – such an INTJ! And you MBTI type-talkers know exactly what I’m talking about. Whether you’re an INTJ yourself or not, you know one, you’ve worked with one, you’ve avoided one in the hallway or lunch room – oh no, here comes that Introverted-iNtuitive-Thinker-Judger!

And, of course, (geek) it was not lost on me that the company name (Intel) starts with an I N T and the little plus sign that the guy changed was right in front of a letter “J” – I N T plus J? … but I digress.

The commercial also reminds me of my favorite INTJ humor poster, which is probably what initially caught my eye about it:

As I expect is normal, even though I am a Type Practitioner who is knowledgeable about and works with all types, I’ve certainly spent more time researching my own combination of Preferences than any of the other 15 Types. If you look back at the MBTI pages here in my blog, I’ve certainly got more info for the INTJ’s than any other type.

You can check out all 16 here: Myers-Briggs (MBTI) Resource Central

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Confessions of a Morning Person

There was some cyber-chatter earlier today about an obnoxious “Good morning, Good morning, Good Morning” song from many years ago that used to get some radio play in the Detroit area and was apparently and instrument of morning torture of several parents and siblings who were definitely NOT morning people.

I found a clip of it on YouTube if you are a masochist and should feel so inclined to play it.

I too grew up in the Detroit area and remembered the song after everyone was talking about it, but had clearly blocked all memories of it and missed the golden opportunity to torture my children with it.

I am DEFINITELY a morning person … and I DID always wake my two boys with my favorite “Good Morning” song, but as it turned out, it wasn’t much torture for them as all (well, perhaps my voice was) – both of them are morning people too. There were certainly many mornings I wish they weren’t (setting their alarms for 5 & 6am on a Saturday “just because”) but when the boys were younger and they didn’t know yet that dancing around with Mom while singing “Good Morning” was not cool, well, my memory has captured it something like this….