Friday, August 15, 2008


by: Joyce Kilmer (1886-1918)

THINK that I shall never see
A poem lovely as a tree.

A tree whose hungry mouth is prest
Against the earth's sweet flowing breast;

A tree that looks at God all day,
And lifts her leafy arms to pray;

A tree that may in Summer wear
A nest of robins in her hair;

Upon whose bosom snow has lain;
Who intimately lives with rain.

Poems are made by fools like me,
But only God can make a tree.
This was my fathers favorite poem but I just found that out. This is where the "Journal Jar" comes into play. Several years ago I gave my parents a journal jar for part of their Christmas gift and along with that a journal to write down the answers. I had mom write on the right hand page and dad the other. They used scotch tape to tape the one they pulled each day on the top of Dad's page. I told them to take their time and now I have it. One of the questions was "What is your favorite poem? Please write it here." Mom said dad wrote his from memory.
As I read the pages I learned so many new things about mom and dad and their memories, favorite things and favorite people. I think I really gave this gift to myself and my children and they will pass it on. Dad is gone but I have this precious journal in his handwriting I encourage each of you to do this so the legacy of your parents will be passed on. I found the ones that seemed to fit them.
LDS sites are great for these. I respect the way they make history alive to their kids and keep passing it on from generation to generation.
Here are some sites to get prompts:

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

My Tribute to my Father

My Father, Arthur Kraybill went to be with the Lord on August 4, 2008 around 9PM.

I have struggled what I need to share and have written several posts that I have not posted. The reason I did not was it just did not seem to honor him at all. My dad loved the Lord with all of his heart and he never wavered from the faith he had in the Lord. If God said it to him that settled it and he never questioned it. I really admired him for that. I, on the other hand question so much. I decided to really look at what dad taught me and begin to accept God's Word as is. Maybe that is the best tribute I can give him. He leaves some big shoes for me to fit into!
He and my mother were married for 65 years in Feb. He told folks they were married because he allowed her to always be right. He sure did that! Dad was 88 in March 10Th, 1920.

I decided I would share with you all what I said at the Memorial service. Normally I could not get up in such a time like his service and share but I felt compelled to make him alive to all.
His Memorial was held at Bahia Vista Mennonite Church in Sarasota, Fla. on August 9Th at 11: PM. We will take him to Harrisonburg to be placed there in October and have another memorial serice.

"It was a long ride on Monday night from Atlanta to Sarasota. When John was not entertaining me I would wonder just what words would describe my dad. The first one that came to my mind was courage. It took courage when his father died when dad was 6 and he and his brother Ben went to live with their grandpa and grandma Kraybill and the 3 Aunties. He missed his mother and sister Rachel but he made the best of it.

It took courage for him to leave the safe haven of the Aunties home and go to Eastern Mennonite School in Harrisonburg, Virginia. He had to dorm and learn rules that were for the dorm and not his home. He adjusted and thrived at school.

It took courage to adopt a child when Mennonites did not always accept this. He wanted a little girl and he got me. My dad sat up with me day and night when I was sick. He listened to me and he became my safe place.

It took courage when he had polio. I remember that ambulance coming to pick him up and I figured people went to the hospital to die and I was scared. He had to fight to gain his muscle strength and he did it and went from a full brace to a knee one and than no brace. He struggled through the pain and experienced the victory of healing. I thought my dad was the greatest!

Than the word dependable came to my mind. If dad said he was going to do something he did it! It did not matter if it cost him time. When the Mennonite Church asked him to help in a struggling Mission in Harrisburg, Pa. he answered the call with a clear yes, I will go. Hamilton Street Mennonite Church was over an hours drive and we made it Sunday morning and Sunday night, Wednesday night and all 2 weeks for Bible School and revival meetings. He soon became a "father figure" to the young men and he would bring them to the farm.

Dad loved....he loved mother and me. He loved his Aunties and siblings and their families. Mom fussed at times but dad never had a ugly word to say about any family member. He loved his grand kids. One memory I have is both girls combing his hair and making pony tails and many barrettes in his hair.....he would sit there and encourage them. Crystal caught her first fish in the lake behind them in Sarasota and dad cleaned it and mom fried it. He was so proud. He would play games with them over and over. They could use his desk and he would play real estate with them.(He sold real estate for many years)

Dad had a habit we had a lot of fun with....his files. He cut things out and filed them, he kept record of our calls and filed them. Every talk he gave at church was filed,(now I have them and have learned to know him better than before.) Mom tried time to time to get him to get those files cleaned out and he resisted much to her horror. Guess what....he gave them to me and I weeded down what I loved and yes, I have them filed too.

My dad read the Word of God each day. This memory was refreshed when we had to move in with them a few years back...each morning I awoke to see him by the window reading his Bible.

He treasured these times with the Lord. He prayed for each of us that he loved and I already miss those prayers.

When dad was living with us in Atlanta he developed some fears. That was something I never had seen in him. One day I called him and he was down.....I asked him if he took his Vit. C. He
was faithful taking his vitamins and he seemed stumped. I said the Vit. C that Aunt Emily taught me. I told him to look up Deut. 1:6. "

Be strong and of good courage. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes before you: he will never leave you nor forsake you."
He said that helped and he would read that everyday.

Dad loved me. This is what I will miss:
"Daddy, I love you"
and he would answer:
"Honey dear I love you too-more than you will ever know."

I will miss him and that wonderful smile......Daddy, I love you! Thank You.

My gratitude is for:

13.My dad...

14. His testimony that never changed.

15. His love for his brother Ben, his sister Rachel

16. His gratitude for the Aunties who loved him and Uncle Ben and taught them so much.

17. His service to the Mennonite Church and to people that needed love.

18. His prayer life.

19. To the Lord for blessing this little baby that needed a home. I needed him too!

20. That I know he is in Heaven with the Lord and I will see him again.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

My Dinner Party

I so wanted to have pictures to post with this but nature played a part in not getting that done.

Let me start in the beginning...
John asked me about 2 weeks ago if I was up to having a party for Staff here at the apartments.
It is quite a small staff (5)but we had never gotten together after work since the property was bought a year ago. I felt my knee is well enough and I have been able to stand up cooking for a morning(it's been years since I could do that) so I agreed. I asked John to chose the menu. As usual he did a good job with it and I added. This is it...

Antipasto Dip served in Belgium Endive along with crackers
Mexican Chip Dip and chips
Meat and cheese tray with crackers

That for the Dinner:

7 Layer Salad
Seafood Newburg in Puff Pastry
Beef Tenderloin cook on the George Foreman (John does this)
Green beans
Saffron Rice
Baked Potatoes with all the toppings
2 kinds of bread from Trader Joe's

Banana Pudding
Fruit Pizza

I did the antipasto dip, banana pudding, and 7 layer salad Friday plus shopping in 3 stores which I have not been able to do for 2 years and it felt good!

I set the table Sat. morning with a beautiful gold tablecloth. I used my antique Wedgwood white service for the plates we needed and antique wine glasses and I used my moms damask napkins.(They were her wedding gift 65 years ago) I used one of John's plats as a simple centerpiece

By 6:30 all was made and we were ready. We knew several would be late and so that was fine.
By the time they came I had the shrimp cooked and a good start on the sauce just having put in the bay scallops.....a storm was coming and the lights flickered. I put the Pastry Shells in the oven and the lights were gone with all the electricity......John had put the tenderloins on whole and they had cooked pretty good.....That threw the guests in a tizzy because they were hungry....of course the elevators quit and it was a mess. So the men went out to make the emergency measures they needed to make while I sat and chatted with the ladies. I refused to get upset knowing we could pull it off! hour later John and I felt we could serve....the heat had cooked the scallops....the beef was medium rare and well done...we would just serve the Newburg and they could put it on the bread slices or rice. We brought in the lanterns we use on the balcony and had great light. They all were pleased and we were just less than half through when the lights came back on. The food was a hit and it really was good.....They all wanted the recipes and I am preparing them a small cookbook for the 3 ladies. I made enough for a crowd and they all took some home and we had some today and will have enough for tomorrow. They left about 11:30...I was tired but so pleased I was almost back to my old self. I have missed having guests. John helped me too and he is a great cook so we have fun doing this.

I thought I would share the recipes. I used all of these when I catered and have altered them all. I do not have the original or know the source anymore.

This is good with meat also.
Antipasto Dip
1-14 ounce can artichoke hears, drained and chopped
2-4 ounce cans sliced mushrooms drained and finely chopped
1-4 ounce diced pimento, drained
1 cup pimento stuffed green olives, chopped
1/2 cup green pepper, chopped finely
1/2 cup celery, shopped finely
1/2 cup oil
1/2 cup finely chopped onion
1 clove garlic, minced
2/3 cup white vinegar
2-1/2 teaspoons dried Italian Seasoning
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Combine first 6 ingredients and set aside.
Heat oil in pan over medium heat and add onions and garlic, cook stirring constantly until tender. Add vinegar and nest 4 ingredients and bring to a boil. Pour over vegetables, cover and refrigerate 8 hours but best overnight. To serve place Belgium Endive leaves on platter and fill with a nice amount of the dip. I also place crackers there because it is good on them.

I have added fresh mozzarella cheese finely chopped
pepperoncini salad peppers
salami finely cubed
Dash of hot pepper or red pepper flakes.
7 Layer Salad
This makes 2 large glass bowls
Layer in this order.

2 bags fresh spinach torn
2 or 3 heads of Romaine lettuce torn
thinly sliced purple onion
1 pound cubed turkey or ham or salad shrimps
bag of thawed and drained frozen green peas
2 cups grated carrots
sliced water chestnuts

3 cups mayonnaise
2 cups sour cream
3 packs Dry Ranch Dressing
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, fresh
2 Tablespoons sugar
Mix and frost each salad making sure the whole top is covered with the dressing. Seal Good with plastic wrap.
When you serve it decorate it with halved cherry tomatoes and 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese and topped with crumbled bacon.

You can add other vegetables but tomatoes and cucumbers in the salad do not work good at all.
a layer of fresh mushrooms is great!
This doubles great!
Seafood Newburg
6- servings

1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup all purpose flour
2 cups half and half
1 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg...NOT an option
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 cup freshly ground Parmesan cheese
1 good tablespoon Italian herbs
Garlic powder or minced garlic to taste
1 pound medium sized shrimp
1 pound sea scallops..I use bay because they are smaller and cook tender
2 tablespoons dry sherry...I use white wine

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium high heat. Stir in flour and cook 1 minute. Slowly add half and half, stirring constantly. Add salt, nutmeg,pepper, Italian seasonings.Parmesan cheese and garlic, cook over medium heat stirring constantly until thick enough to coat the back of the spoon. Add shrimp, scallops, sherry or wine until shrimp are pink and sauce is barely simmering...about 6 minutes. Serve over puff pastry shells.

**I often cook my shrimp in boiling water and drain and than add them. If you use large scallops you need to cut them in half horizontally before cooking them.

I make my Saffron Rice in a rice cooker using Balsamic rice. I add a good pinch of saffron to a bit of boiling water in a custard cup and let it set 10 minutes and add that to the water you add.
You can add green stuffed olives, 2 tablespoons the olive juice, a can of washed black beans and some garlic. Last night I made it plain.
I think this comes from Eagle Brand Condensed Milk in the 70's
1-14 ounce can of Eagle Brand condensed Milk
1-1/2 cups cold water
1- 4 serving size packaged instant pudding and jello mix
2 cups-(1 pint) whipping cream, whipped
Vanilla Wafers
3-4 bananas sliced and dipped in lemon juice

In large bowl combine can of condensed milk and water. Add pudding mix and beat well. Chill 5 minutes. Fold in whipped cream. Spoon 1 cup pudding mix in a 2-1/2 quart dish. Top with layer of wafers, bananas and pudding and do it 2 more times, ending with pudding mix. Cover and chill several hours. Remember to refrigerate if you have leftovers!