Quiet and common notions...shared here...with you! Of life ~ our hearts and our home.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Mugs & Muffins :: Guest Interview and Giveaway!

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Good Morning - my dear friends!  Happy Monday, to you.

Welcome back to the second installment of Mugs & Muffins.  What a pleasure it is to have you return all giddy and rip, roaring and raring to go.  You are, right?  Anyway.

Guess what today happens to be?  Besides the day after Mother's Day - I knew that.  Today happens to be me and my husband's 7th wedding anniversary!  Yes...it is wonderful.  Thank you, very much.  And you know what?  We both say we'd do it again in a heart beat.

I just thought I would share a bouquet of flowers with you, today - courtesy of my mother.  Lily of the Valley were a special part of our Wedding and oh, how I wish you could smell them right now.  Gorgeous, gorgeous smell.

So you have your hot mug of something in front of you. Right?  And here is a plate full of our family's favorite muffins...Unfrosted Blueberry Muffins. Pass it around, if you please. (The recipe will be at the bottom of this post).

Today I would like to introduce you to someone who "stayed".  You might want to guess...
Do you remember last month?  We talked about this idea a lot; the footprints that we leave on each other's hearts - all because we've stayed for awhile?

Well.  My Mother, she stayed.  Through thick and thin.

The other day, I sat down with my mom to ask her a few questions, in effort to share a bit of her with you.  Actually, she agreed to be interviewed.  And since yesterday was Mother's Day...well now, guess what?  How neat is that?

Please make welcome, my dear mother, Rhoda.


~ Grandma Rhoda
holding Aubrey ~
 How old were you when you first met my dad?
Well, our parents (both sides of your grandparents) were friends first.  In fact my parents were my "in-laws" attendants in their wedding.  We always attended the same church and Sunday School.  Here is a cute story about their (your grandparents, Bev) friendship.  When I was born, the first Sunday I came to church... my mother was about to get out of the car to carry me into church and there stood your father's mother, to carry me into church instead.  Little did they know... that that was the beginning... of a life long acquaintance.  And 8 months later... your father was born. (smile)  I guess I was the "only girl" in your daddy's heart... it was just meant to be.

You grew up together, you started dating and got married fairly young (20yrs of age)...where was your honeymoon?  Tell us about it.
There was a snowstorm - the weekend of our wedding.  Nineteen inches of snow fell that day.   We were sure no one was going to show up. But folks made it out...not as many as we hoped...but that wasn't going to stop us.  At least our families were there.
Needless to say, as we headed out of town for our honeymoon we only got as far as the local hotel.  We inched, skidded, and plowed our way into the driveway.  Stopped.  And walked on in.

Did you talk much about raising a family?  There were nine of us.  Did you know you wanted such a large family? 
Sure! we always thought about raising a family.  We began having girl after girl... and always wanted that son to carry on the family name.  So.  Imagine our surprise to having six daughters - all in a row- and then our three sons.  Finally! Often people would ask us about "our large family" and your father would often say..."blessed is the man who's quiver is full".

He had such a sense of humor.  Lord knows, he needed it.

What are a few of the precious memories you have had of being a Mother?  And, be honest, what did you like least?
I always wanted to be a mother.  So I would have to say that the most precious times were of welcoming another newborn into our home. Just watching them bond, grow and develop into their own personalities... was very special.  I have had several home births...which added to that uniqueness.  And for what I liked least?  I would say that getting woken up, at night, after just falling off to sleep ((sigh!)) was always tough.
Potty training could fall under this category, as well as settling squabbles between the children.

Did you have many close friends in your child-rearing days?  I remember one, for sure.  Can you tell us about her?
Ahh, yes!  Joyce.  I miss her so much.  Around the time your sister Gladys was born (who is #3 in our family) ... was when I first met Joyce.  Our children were close in age, we lived close to each other and I would do her dress making while she would watch you girls.  We did everything together.  Canning, freezing, shopping (well that was sort of tough with all of our combined children), carpooling the school-age children to and from school, camping/vacation, etc.  It was fun that our husbands were buddies, too.
I would add that my 3 sisters were special, too.  I was particularly close to my sister Sara.  It was always fun to get together for the day - you cousins would play so hard together - and we sisters would do our homemaking chores - together, etc.

How important, do you think, is it for young mothers to cultivate friendships with other mothers?
I would say it's really important.  You have someone to bounce ideas off of, voice your frustrations to and these friends will come back (or should) with something to take from that or that you can change about yourself.

In your church...was there much of a support system in place for young mothers (or as a family unit) encouraging you along the way as you raised your family?  How do you feel you were encouraged?
Unfortunately not.  We went to a conservative Mennonite church and I don't know that there was a lot offered in a structured format. I wish that wasn't the case.  However,  we had a strong sense of community, and would talk to others about things as they came up but nothing like a Mom's groups or a Ladies Bible Study, etc.  I would talk with my own mother and sisters a lot; listen to Christian radio and read some books, especially in the later years of my child-rearing days.  You are very blessed, Bev (and other ladies, reading) to have an opportunity to go to such woman's groups or Bible Studies, etc.

When dad (your husband of 24 years) suddenly passed away... you had 8 children still living at home (the youngest was 3 yrs of age at the time) - those were some HARD days.  What Scriptures did you cling to, to help you walk this road?
Right off the top of my head I can think of two.
Jeremiah 29:11 ~ "for I know the plans I have for you...
Deuteronomy 33:27 ~ " the eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms..."

They say that time heals.  Does it?
It heals...but you still never, ever forget both the severe pain of the loss nor of the wonderful memories you hold dear in your heart.

How many grandchildren do you have - to this date?
I have 8 little lambs.  I'm always using terms of endearment with them...and your Aubrey always takes me literal.  "I'm Aubrey and not a lamb"...she told me the other day.  They're my precious darlings... my little honey's.

What are one of the many ways you are personally enjoying your life, right now?
I can go to bed when I want, read as long as I want, eat whatever I want.  That sounds silly... but it's true!
A couple of my sons still live at home and sometimes I forget that I'm still "the mother".  I'm really enjoying watching you children grow up, walking with the Lord and (some of you) raising your own families.  I'm praying that the rest will follow, in raising families of their own - in the Lord's timing - and I just wish your father could be here to "enjoy" what I'm so enjoying.   My family.  Our family.
We're missing our three other sister's...here!
Christmas Cookie Baking Day.
 Any forms of advice you could share with us?  As a wife, a mother, a single, a friend?
I don't know...
I guess I often think that our God already knows what we have need of...but He still wants us to cry out to him for whatever it is we need from him. 
If your married and have a husband... work on that communication.  It is so important.  Be intentional.  Choose to "date each other" - regularly.  Just because you're married... that shouldn't stop.
Single ladies...seek out that older woman that you can talk to, look up to and learn from.

And whoever you are- always be a friend.  Show hospitality even when it doesn't always seem easy to do.

Mom, is there anything you would like to add?
It's been a pleasure being a part of Mugs & Muffins, today and sharing with you all.  ... I'm off to enjoy one or more of those leftovers of the Unfrosted Blueberry Muffins - you know, all the ones you didn't eat.  While we were doing this interview, I was reminded of our family's favorite and Bev said I should share it with you, today.   I hope you enjoy.

Blessings on each one of you, and Keep Smiling!!

Thank you, Mom!  You did such a fabulous job. Thank you for "staying" true to your vows, for "staying" when it got hard to do, and for "staying" committed enough to care about the legacy you are leaving behind.
I love you! 

You know? The one thing that still just amazes me to this day, about my mom, is ALL of the packed lunches she put together over the years.  (Think about this with me, ladies!)  My mom was married 24 years - and packed my dad's lunch every. single. day.  She had nine children.  Each child pretty much went to school every day of their 12 years of schooling - give or take.  You know where I'm going with this...  I wish I had an exact number, but I lost count.  You do the math.  And, she did it all with JOY!! 

Now! for our Giveaway... Today Only!
One "blessed" reader will win one pair of gussied up Rubber Gloves - size Large or Medium. (The winner must specify.)

Special thanks to sweet, sweet Julia, from Blissfully Content who graciously sponsored this part of our giveaway today.  IF you don't know who Julia is, I beg you to - please!- go on over to her blog and say hello! 
She also has her own Etsy Shop, as well.  Check that out too!

Along with...Julia's rubber gloves... I'm including a beautiful set of recipe cards and a 100-page lined notebook that I think are just as charming as ever. 
Can I win my own giveaway?  ha! ha!

Happy belated Mother's Day to all of you!

To enter this giveaway:  Here is what you need to do. 
  • First, leave a comment telling us, in as many or as little words as you'd like, how your much your mom means to you. 
  • For a second chance to win.  Head on over to Julia's blog, and sign up there to follow her blog or at least go there to say 'hello', by leaving her a comment.  Come back here and leave me a second comment letting me know what you did. 
(if you don't have your own blog, and choose to comment anonymously, please include your first name and email address as a way to contact you)

THIS GIVEAWAY will CONCLUDE at 10:00pm EST.  Edited to UPDATE!!Tonight! (May 14th)  Wednesday Night. May 16th! 
Here is the recipe you've all been waiting so patiently for.  This is an old recipe.  It comes from a local Mennonite Cookbook.  And of course, with a name like this - it sounds kind of PA Dutch-y.  Unfrosted Blueberry Cupcakes is actually how the recipe is titled.  But really, they are simply muffins with a crumb topping.  I can still remember my mom, whipping these up while the rest of dinner was in the making...they either served as dessert or alongside our meal for the evening.  Delish!!

So without further adieu...

Unfrosted Blueberry Muffins
1 1/2 cup blueberries
1/4 cup shortening
3/4 cup sugar
1 whole egg, beaten
1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup flour
1 T. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

Cream shortening and sugar, add egg.  Sift together flour, baking powder and salt.  Add dry ingredients alternately with milk to creamed mixture.  Add blueberries.  Fill paper baking cups 1/2 full and top with a mixture of:
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup flour
1/4 cup butter
Mix till crumbly and sprinkle on top of muffins.  Bake at 375* for 20 minutes.  Yield: 12 servings.


Take this thought with you, as you leave today.

A smile is a light in the window of your face to show your heart is at home.


  1. Bevy, I enjoyed reading your post today. Your Mom had some encouraging words.

    My mom...where do I begin. If my husband is my right arm, then my mom is my left. She is my best friend, my sounding board, another mother for my boys. There are many times I wouldn't survive without my mom. Even though I'm married and a mother myself, she is still "mothering" me. I don't think we ever stop needing our moms. :)

    Happy Belated Mothers day to you Bevy.

  2. What a beautiful post featuring your mother! Loved it and loved hearing a bit more about your family.

  3. I love lily of the valley. I think because it is an old fashioned flower. What a beautiful big bouquet! And such a lovely tribute to your mom. What a great idea to interview her. I enjoyed reading!

  4. This was such a sweet post. I feel as if I know your mom better. How wonderful that God has allowed you to have your mom with you. My mom went to be with the Lord 7 years ago. She was my best friend and we did everything together. I miss her so much. God gives us our mothers for a reason and a season. I'm so glad He gave me the one He did.

  5. HAPPY ANNIVERSARY!!! And A (belated) Happy Mother's Day! Busy week for you! I love the interview with your mom, especially for Mother's day - thanks for sharing!! And that last thought about your smile being a light, good thought!

    Thank you for your kind comments and sweet words - maybe one of these days you all can came up 'North' and have a little stay at our new place! :) Maybe share our anniversaries together one of these years!

    1. Oh yes, I was supose to write what my mom means to me to be entered - do you mail to Cananda??? Either way...

      I want to comment on how much my Step-mom means to me! She's AMAZING!! She is the most generous person I know! She has a big heart and cares greatly and deeply! This past winter was a real testimate to how much she cares for her family - as she made the tough choice to fly my dad home from Mexico so his kids could be around his bed to say 'goodbye'. She endured a LOT and made some very difficult and selfless choices! She's great like that - very selfless - I just pray she comes to know the Lord so that He can give her the ultimate comfort and love! :) ♥

  6. Hi Bevy,


    What a wonderful interview. Your mom is sweet.

    I hope you both had a lovely Mother's Day. Such pretty flowers.

    Have nice evening. Take care, Janet W

  7. Sitting here with my hazelnut coffee;-)

    Your mama seems like a prcious, precious woman.

    Love the photos!
    I enjoyed reading about her life and thoughts.

    If only i had one of those muffins now, spending time over here would be much sweeter:-)

    happy belated mothers day!

  8. What a wonderful post! Your Mother sounds like a beautiful woman inside and out. My Mom is what I call 'my rock'. She is always there for me when I fall or when I need a hug. Aren't Moms the best?!


  9. Stopped over at Julia's blog....actually she directed me to you! Glad I found you!

  10. You thought of everything. Great questions for your mom, the love between you two, and a great recipe. To top it off, a fabulous give away!
    I don't have a realationship with my mom, so it is wonderful to see the love you have with your mother.

  11. How much my mom means to me...oh, there is so much to say. She has taught me the meaning of true servant-hood. She helps and helps and helps...me and others. She always goes above and beyond...all because she finds such joy in it. She challenges me, as well. We are similar in much...but different in much, as well. This helps me to see things from other points of view and be balanced. :) She has taught me how to decorate correctly....which for a home-maker is a *very* important thing to know!
    I love my mom so much and can't imagine my life without her. It's always nice to know I can pick up the phone and she will take the time to listen and offer words of comfort and advice. I am truly so, so thankful for her. :)

    Thank-you for this chance!
    Katy :)

  12. I am already a regular reader of Julia's blog...she's even on my blog roll on my blog sidebar! :) Does this count as a second entry? :) Thanks for the chance!


    thecountryblossom at hotmail dot com

  13. My mom passed away 21 years ago but she was a woman who was encouraging, loving and loved a good "bear hug."

  14. Jumped over and said HI. Thanks for this giveaway!!


  15. I'm popping in from Julia's blog to enter the giveaway! My Mom has been such an inspiration of faith and trust the past year as we watched my Dad become more and more ill and finally die of brain cancer. She still has four children at home, and she is doing beautifully at keeping the home together and encouraging each one to trust in the Lord. I live with my husband over 1,000 miles from the rest of the family and I really miss my Mama!

  16. I already follow Julia's blog and I'm following yours, now, too!

  17. This is authentic, warm, and so honoring to your mother. Thank you for sharing and to your Mom for opening that part of her heart.
    Your family has been a blessing to so many. Loved that they are a part of my story and life.


Thanks for coming by, today! You're visits always mean so much...

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