Childrens Stories, Critters, dolls, life stories, Show and Tell

Once upon a time


Under the Apple Tree: remembering stories of a little girl and her adventures

There once was a little girl who lived in a far country. She loved to play pretend. She was the only little girl in her family. She had no brothers nor sisters. She had lots of cousins, but they were boys. And the boy cousins were much older than she; too old to play dolls under the dining room table when all the adults were talking about important stuff. So the little girl was content with her dolls and animals and the little sandwich she snatched off the table.

“Ok, Dollie, you stay here and keep guard and I’ll be right back” the little girl put her sandwich on Dollie’s lap and peeked out from under the table..all clear.. She thought she heard Grandfather go out the kitchen door and that meant only one thing .. the workshop!

She quickly slipped out of the house to follow Grandfather. “Wait for me,” she called “what are you doing?”

Grandfather slowed his walking and held the door open for his favorite granddaughter. “I’m just putting away some of these empty bottles. We might be able to use them later.” But the little girl wasn’t really listening…she had already begun asking more questions about all those tiny drawers. She skipped over to the dresser and opened the first drawer she could reach. ever so carefully, she slid it open just enough to look inside.

“Nails, hmm..long ones, short ones, teeny tiny ones,” she announced as she picked them up one by one.

“But Grandfather, why do you have so many?” It seemed curious to the little girl that Grandfather would have such a workshop because he was a baker.

The next drawer had little strips of papers. Some of the papers had numbers in rows, some had tiny flowers painted on them, some had numbers and names.

“why do you have all these little papers, Grandfather?

“What is this envelope?

“Can I have one to give to Dollie?”

Grandfather smiled and took the little envelope to have a better look, “these are flower seeds for the garden. You can have this one.” he said handing it back to the little girl.

“What kind of flowers?” She asked.


Triumphant of found treasure, the little girl put the envelope in her pocket to show Dollie and taking Grandfather’s hand they walked back to the house.

Quickly she scurried back under the table and was about to tell Dollie about her treasure, when…

“Nora, where are you now? Are you getting your dress dirty? Nora?” uh oh…Mommy was calling .. “time to go. Come out from under the table.”

And out she came, for Nora was a good little girl and always tried to obey her Mommy and Papi. With Dollie, her flower envelope, and the last bite of her sandwich, Nora waved goodbye to her aunts and uncles.

“I know, Dollie, we’ll start planning what to do with the pretty envelope that Grandfather gave us when we get home.”

— to be continued

So there it is. The beginning of many stories. What did you think? I would love your feedback.  I need a title for this story.  The name of collection is Under the Apple Tree.

I leave you with this:

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven.  And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.    –Matthew 18:4-5

May the LORD bless you and keep you in his lovingkindness,

Until next time,

Cristina aka Granny

life stories, Word of God

time to see


Sometimes it is just time.  Things begin to take shape and you hadn’t even noticed that it was out of focus until you realize that now you can see better.  I remember the day I got my first pair of glasses.  I was thirteen.  My parents decided it was time to take me to the eye doctor.  I had been getting closer and closer to the TV to watch our shows.  I couldn’t really read the chalkboard at school.  I hadn’t been concerned, that is just how I saw; but my wise parents knew it was time.

Off to the eye doctor, my mom and I went and sat in the waiting room until a gentle older man came out to greet us.  I sat in the chair and the doctor swung machine things in front of my face for me to look through.  “Read the smallest line of letters on the wall”, he said.  Click, click, clickity- click, he turned the dials on the machine, “can you see them better or worse?” he asked me.  He shined a bright light into my eyes and said be still not to blick. Are you serious? I thought.  A person’s first reaction to a bright shining light in you eye is to BLINK! and move away.  I was a good little girl and did as I was told.

He and my mother talked, filled out papers, and the lady at the counter told us to come back next week.

Next week came and we were sitting again in the waiting room of the eye doctor. When it was our turn, we went back to the examination room and the doctor came bearing a gift.  My first pair of glasses.  He put them on me and stepped back…. I don’t know that words can really describe what I felt at that moment.  To say that I could see doesn’t seem adequate.  Nonetheless, I could SEE!!!! See clearly that is, I wasn’t blind, I was used to everything being fuzzy all the time.  I didn’t think about it, that is how I saw things.  So now! WOW! I could see!

We got in the car and as mom drove us home, I was looking at everything as if I had never seen it before.  Did you know you could see the individual leaves on the trees?  Before it was a green mass of color…like a kindergardner’s rendition of an apple tree.

I kept taking my glasses off to look and then putting them back on to SEE!  I’ll never forget that day.  My mom didn’t say much, she just smiled, glad that she was able to help me in this. She said things like “of course” and “yes, I know” .. she didn’t really understand the life change that had been given to me.  My mom always had good eyes.  In her later years she began using reading glasses, but for distance .. she always saw clearly.  If you wear glasses or contacts, you know.  One moment you see fuzzy the next everything comes into focus.  That day, 36 years ago, is etched in my memory.


This is a wonderful story of how our lives are with the LORD — or should be — when we surrender and trust the LORD in every detail of our life.  We will see more clearly, it may be bit by bit but we will. I think we’ll be going around heaven looking at things as if we never had proper eyesight, ever.  What a day that will be!!

For now, today, we trust the LORD to lead and guide us into all truth.  (John 16:13)

This wasn’t what I had planned to write today, but maybe it is a blessing for you.  Maybe you can relate and the LORD is reminding you that He’s got you.  He knows what you have need of before you ask him.  As adults, we seem to lose our focus much more quickly.  The cares of the world entangle us and blur our sight.  We are going through our days coloring in a big blob and hoping to get the details right.  It’s time to see and we can only do that with the help of God’s Holy Spirit.  Now don’t get weird here…it’s not about hearing voices in your head, it’s about running to the ONLY source of truth to find the answer to every thing.  What is that source?  It is the written Word of God, ie the Bible.  John 17:17  (We, at this Granny’s House, use the KJV.  You should, too.  Look it up )

So there it is.  Time to see.  And I thought I would be telling the story of Scruffy the mouse.  He’s a patient mouse .. mostly.

What I will tell you is that I’m learning every day about the importance of running to the LORD for everything.  Like Paul, I would say,

Not as though I had already attained, either were already perfect: but I follow after, if that I may apprehend that for which also I am apprehended of Christ Jesus.   Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. “  -Philippians 3:12-14

My journey and the lessons I am learning may encourage you in your journey.  My hope is that these little posts will nudge you toward your only hope:  the LORD Jesus Christ: the Righteous, Redeemer, Merciful, Faithful, Master, closer than a brother, Friend, and the King of Kings!!




Childrens Stories, Critters, Sewing, Show and Tell, Word of God


Scruffy: untidy, shabby


We all have those days.  Whether it is the mess of  dishes, chores,  work, or everything all at the same time.  Scruffy is not limited to our daily activities but also includes our emotions.  We can feel untidy, which is different from dirty.  Untidy says unorganized, not enough time or strength to take care of the details, and maybe some apathy that has crept in as we attempt to juggle the cares of the day and the people in our lives.

When my mom died, things went wonky in my thoughts and emotions.  As Christians, we have a hope when our loved ones pass on ahead of us.  (Our hope is in Jesus Christ and his redemption on the cross, his rising on the third day, and him being seated at the right hand of the Father in heaven)  The wonky came not with death but dealing with the life we live now until we do meet again.

We all have to keep living, doing, talking, and being a blessing to those around us even as things around us go wonky…unplanned, unexpected, inconvenient, and hard.

My Dad and I are working together and reseachering famiy history and compiling a book of rememberance: a biography.  We are enjoying  putting together our own memories of Mom with her childhood stories, matching old photos with family stories, peoples, and places.  In so doing, there are many times it seems emotionally overwhelming…memories can bring with it so many emotions simulatiously that it can cause a brain fog.

Scruffy:  We know we should be OKAY; yet our feelings aren’t agreeing.   Have you felt like that?  What can be done? Many say it’s just grief.  Yes and no.  These overwhelming life situations are not limited to loss of a loved one.  Death does seem to magnify the emotions beyond what we think we can handle; but there are those who are in tough situations and feel hopeless, stuck, or just trying to survive.

Take courage!  The God of ALL comfort is faithful and trustworthy to help us through the most difficult times.

Wait on the LORD: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the LORD.        ~Psalm 27:14

This brings me to my project: learning how to make little critters (mouse, lamb, bunny)

Mom loved to tell stories to her grandchildren but never wrote them down.   So, I’m going to write children’s books based on those stories.  And I decided to learn to make these little critters to go along with my writings about my Mom.

I cut out the pattern on some muslin fabric to practice.  As I began putting the pieces together, I grew frustrated because I couldn’t seem to get them together in the correct order..I didn’t have the instructions, just the pieces.  How hard could this be?  It’s just a little mouse.  I do know how to sew.  I do know how to figure things out.  And I couldn’t call my mom to ask her any questions…ugg!




Guess what?  The LORD God of heaven knows how everything fits together.. yes, even pattern pieces of a little mouse.  Remember this from Matthew 10:29-31:

Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows. “

Putting the pieces together is a specialty of our loving God.  These little critters remind me everyday how true that is.  If I, an amatuer doll maker, can cut out the pieces, throw away the scraps and sew something beautiful, then HOW MUCH MORE our Creator and God!!  This makes me happy!


Now I know you may be thinking that Scruffy is not that beautiful..but he is a work in progress…like us.. hehehe.  His story is still being written.  (and I’ll be sharing it the next post)

Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:  -Philippians 1:6

Meet cousins of Scruffy from his mother’s side of the family:  Ivan and Hazel.  Hazel is the older sister; but Ivan thinks he’s older because he has grown much taller than Hazel. Doesn’t she know that if you are taller, you most certainly must be older?  Silly mouse, thinks Hazel as she poses for the camera.


Next time, we’ll have a listen to Scruffy’s story.  He’s a little embarrassed to have a story written about himself; but he knows you’ll enjoy it.

If you would like to follow the critters and me on Instagram, we’d love to have you. (@mama8hawks)  You’ll get to see some behind the scenes, meet new critters, and maybe smell the cookies from this Granny’s House.

Hugs and keep looking up!


aka Granny

Baking, Baking Biographies

That Gluten Question

With so many people searching for answers to the ‘gluten intolerance problem’, I thought I’d share some of my research.  This video is a quick look at sourdough and why it’s The Healthiest Bread.

The process of making bread using the wild or natural yeast that is already around us is just an AMAZING thing.  Flour and water to start, add a little salt and more flour and watch the transformation!  Smell.  Taste!  WOW.

At This Granny’s House, we are happy to share bread with you!  Bread has been known for millennia as ‘the staff of life’.  The number one grain for bread is wheat.  And it is this grain that has come under the most attack.  Yes, there are chemicals now; yes, there are GMOs now; but slow fermenting natural yeast is still master over those nasty attacks.  To better help us, using organic, regional, and fresh milled flour, insures maximum health benefits.

There are so many wonderful folks out there who have learned so much more than I have on this subject.  In the course of my own studies, I’ve grown in my fervor to share great bread with as many people as possible.

Here are some excellent resources:

sourdough nutrition

health benefits of sourdough

top 10 reasons to eat sourdough 

I truly hope that this little glimpse into the world of sourdough has helped you.


as always,

your friend, Cristina

aka Granny


Baking, Baking Biographies

Baking is . . .

love made edible bannerI love to read.  I’ve always loved reading.  When I was a young girl, I spent most of my summers reading.  And when I discovered a summer reading program my sixth grade year – I was overjoyed!  The school gave their students access to the library for a handful of hours each Friday to encourage the students to be better readers.  I saw this as a summer filled with adventures.

I happily walked my younder siblings to our little library and we carried full book-bags back home just in time for lunch.  It was a first in summer reading programs.  It was the summer of 1980.  I read Florence Nightingale’s biography and the entire “The Great Brain series by J.D. Fitzgerald.  (I don’t know why I loved that series, but I did.)  In seventh grade, I was enrolled in a speed reading class.  I really enjoyed that class!  I learned how to read the important words and disregard the rest.  I learned to retain the information to do well on comprehension tests.  I read fast.  I did well. I joined a Bible Quiz club and learned memorizing skills and studied with furvor. (my spelling, however, was always a struggle)  Math? Science? P.E. Class?  for the birds .. I did my best, but my best wasn’t so hot.  Learning about History or the biography of those scientists – wonderful!

Fast forward to a married young woman with little ones, homemaking, and cooking.. I could read at and follow a recipe with ease; but didn’t find much, if any, joy in cooking.  It was like science class of sorts .. follow the formula and get an edible outcome.  Boring.  But our little family  needed to eat .. every day.  The more I cooked the better the meals became.  I loved to set the table, talk at the table, and laugh with family and friends.  I saw that aspect as the enjoyment of meals more than the cooking.

Now our children are adults, many are married, and Curt and I are empty nesters.  I have time to reflect on how my cooking has progressed through the years and the course it will take in the future.  I have time again to read just for me.  During our children’s growing up years I didn’t really have the time for pleasure reading.  We homeschooled k-12 and read aloud for the children.  Now .. now the house is in a new season .. what could I read?

I found a book at the library with an intriguing title:  The Splendid Table by Lynne Rossetto Kasper.  The title was so lovely — so splendid.

The greatest joy in this book has been the people who made it possible.  I want to wrap my arms around the entire region of Emilia-Romagna in appreciation.  She and her people shared so much, not only in tangible information, but in the intangibles:  the spirit of her hospitality, the way light moves across her plain and her deep passion for her own culinary heritage.      ~Acknowledgements, The Splendid Table

How could I not join the author on her journey?  This isn’t just a book of edible formulas; it is a beautiful adventure.  Immediately, I saw the countryside, I felt the warm sunshine, and could smell the aromas beckoning as breads baked, meats were grilled, and fruit ripened . . . can you smell the freshness?  The author brought to life a cookbook in a way I’d never read.  This wasn’t a list of ingredients like a ‘to-do’ list.  This was a rosy cheeked loud grandma with her sleeves rolled up, dirty apron, showing you the right way to cook.  Having you taste and taste again ..

And so I began to read about soups, breads, pastas .. such a familiarity .. Garlic, butter, tomatoes, beef, olive oil .. hey! these are my favorite foods .. hey! .. a light bulb .. my maternal grandparents cooked like this .. my mom loves these .. and then I knew it .. I had come home .. I suddenly realized that food was more than for survival.  There was something more than the nutrients it possesses, it is meant to bring JOY TO YOUR TABLE.

He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and the herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; and wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to mke his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man’s heart.                                                                                                                              -Psalm 104:14-15

I began to search out cookbooks that told a story, authors and bakers that invited the reader to join their family dinners, hear the laughter, and taste the delight found written on the pages.  As I read, I learned.  As I read the more confident I became as a baker and it began to show at our table.  My perspective on food was brought back to where is should be .. making our table a place of joy and not getting through another meal with dishes and complaining; but rather taking the time to enjoy and cherish the moment with those whom we ‘break bread’.

I’ll leave you with the following hashtags for you to consider:  #slowliving  #bringbreadhome  #homemade  #freshfromtheoven #splendidtable #family #friends #gatheringtogether  #morethanjusteating #lovemadeedible #nosciencehere #allheart

Are your meals #madewithlove ??

until next time,


Baking, Show and Tell, thrifting

Thursday Thrifting

thrifty nifty banner

It’s Thrifty Nifty Thursday!  This week has been a good week in general.  For that I should call today THANKFUL Thursday.  (the kitten is just for #CUTENESSOVERLOAD) 

It’s funny how we feel the need to categorize our stuff, maybe that helps us with a sense of order in this crazy world.  Or maybe it serves as a reminder to stop and smell the roses, as it were, to admonish ourselves to remember the good things, those thing that bring a smile to our face, and just be grateful.

There is an amazing Bible verse that helps to keep our mental stuff in its proper perspective.  Philippians 4:8

Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.

And with that, I’ll move on to something lovely and of good report!  It was the end of May,  my husband and I were out running errands and decided to make a quick stop at a thrift shop on the way home.  It was actually a shop we had not visited before and so it was exciting .. treasure hunting, you know.

Most of the time, I have a running mental list of things I may be interested in, if the price is right and IF I have the funds.  We usually start looking at the kitchen things.  New, kitchen things are expensive and always worth the investment…but if you can find it for a fraction of the price .. SCORE!

So I’m looking at baking pans and my eye catches the outline of something that I’ve been dreaming about.  I walk quickly, but not too quickly as to draw attention to myself and the excitement whelling up in my heart. It’s a KitchenAid mixer! At the thrift shop?  Those are well sought after and hard to find second-hand.  Just the week before, while at a yard sale, I found a little KitchenAid mixer in working order and the owner wanted $300! at a yard sale?! It was the smallest one KitchenAid makes and came with a pasta maker attachment, but still .. $300? at a yard sale? I come from the era of yard sales that people still charged less than $20 for big items and nickles and dimes for the small stuff.

Anywhooo… back to my story… I look at the mixer skeptically as I search for the price.  Some thrift shops are getting mighty proud of the donations they receive…I find the tag .. I ask my husband to look at the tag to make sure I read it correctly.


Yes, you read that correctly.  $34.99!  Well, did it have all the pieces? Check.  Does it work? We hefted it into the cart and went over to ask the clerk if we could plug it in and make sure it worked ok.  IT WORKS!  Calm down, Cristina, calm down...I kept telling myself as we were checking out.  By the time we reached the car, I was doing the dance of joy!!  This Kitchen Aid mixer is my preferred color of white, it has all the pieces, it is the ‘professional’ model, and it WORKS!!  AND I had the funds to purchase it!  My birthday was the week before and our sweet children (who know how much I like to treasure hunt) had given me birthday money.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning

-James 1:17



that little scuff on the front is the only blemish .. there are no dings nor nicks.  I am beyond thankful to the LORD God who set this mixer aside for me to find.  He gave me a lovely birthday present!!

I have since used it to make my cookie dough and royal icing.  Beautiful.

What treasures have you found this summer?  Talk to the LORD, he knows what you have need of, and he loves us to walk with him and delight in his ways.  He will direct your steps if you let him.

By the way, I have my favorite tools and resources linked to Amazon.  So if you need something quickly or you haven’t found it at your local thrift shop or yard sale, you can get it on Amazon.  By purchasing your supplies via this page you are supporting my blog and little bakery .. Thank you!


You deserve some sweetness in your day!


Baking, Show and Tell

Beautiful Weddings

fondant flowers and leaves 042017

Our family has celebrated another wedding and that is the reason for my lack of posting lately… ya know .. wedding stuff ..

Our youngest daughter got to have her outside wedding.. she did a beautiful job in planning and execution of her vision.  A small wedding in our oldest son’s backyard was the perfect setting for the celebration.

You know how the day before the ceremony, everyone is bustling and decorating and there’s commotion at every turn .. now .. add to that a very unusual snow in the morning followed by sunshine and then a dose of hail in the afternoon for good measure … it was a day full of weather surprises, for sure! Despite all that ‘raining down’ on an otherwise beautiful outdoor wedding, everything went off without a hitch… well, except for the ‘hitch’ at the I Do’s — hahaha!  (sorry, I had to say it)

I was honored to make the wedding cake.  It was so much fun to learn how to make fondant (or sugar paste as is known outside the USA) flowers.  My husband’s niece helped me to bake all the cake layer and was such a blessing!!  We made 4 -14″ squares and 4-14″ rounds to create one giant heart!

iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 886

Our second son’s girlfriend was my assistant decorator — another blessing!! Thanks, Noelle!  I definitely learned so much during that whole process!!  I suppose that’s a good thing.. to always be willing to learn and grow and improve..right?  We still have an abundance of Strawberry Cream cheese Filling!  In my endeavor to have enough, I made a gallon too much!  Into the freezer that went, I’ll let you know of future baking that may or may not have some extra Strawberry Cream Cheese Filling in it.

Our daughter and son-in-law loved the cake and that is what’s most important!
iphone photos 2016 to spring 2017 896

Here is the inspiration for the cake .

Would you like the recipes?  First let me explain .. no let me sum-up .. After several practice cakes, I discovered that our daughter is Goldie Locks .. and not just for her blonde hair .. but that she wanted her cake to be just right.  She wanted a lemon cake. Simple. or so I thought.  The first cake was a lemon pound cake made with cream cheese in the batter .. that was too dense.  For the second cake, I used a different recipe that omitted the cream cheese and used sour cream instead.  Beautiful.  Perfect sponge, perfect fresh lemon flavor.. but no .. not quiet right, said she.  I was resolved to make everything from scratch.  Our daughter’s wedding is a big deal and I wanted the cake to be superb.  In desperation for the perfect wedding lemon cake, I asked my niece for suggestions.  She had a recipe that used as it’s base boxed white cake.  She explained that the science of the boxed cake helped in the overall sponge of the cake.  OK.. At this point, okay, it just needed to be more light in texture.

We used her ‘doctored’ box cake recipe with lemon emulsion and Voila! Success!!

stay tuned for the recipe … I have to go find it …


you deserve some sweetness today,




Word of God

first WP blog post

HELLO! Sweet readers!  I’m glad you could join me over here.  I’ve been having computer issues for a while now and was using my iPad to post to my blog.  And now … my blogger blog cannot be edited using mobile devises so I’m forced to move over here to WordPress.   You can still read my previous posts,  just all the new stuff will be here.

There is that saying, “when it rains, it pours!”  How true, how true.  But hold fast, we’ll get over this bump in the road and keep praying for each other, keep encouraging each other, and most importantly — keep looking unto Jesus! The author and finisher of our faith.

Hugs to you,