Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Another Genealogy Story

While I'm at it, why not? Here's another story one of my many distant cousins emailed my mom about two years ago.

My mom told our cousin that I was working on my maternal grandfather's family line, and I had just discovered my grandfather's parents' families came to the United States about 10 years apart from each other and settled in the same town. I was hoping to find out if they knew each other before they immigrated, but my cousin didn't know the answer to that. Instead she told this fun little story:

"I do know one story that I heard from Lewis Schreiber, (from Mart). The Marquarts did come before the Schreibers, don't know exactly when, but think the Schreibers came in 1884. The Marquarts lived in Post Oak, north of LaGrange and Grandpa Marquart built the little Methodist church there and they worshipped in German. The Schreibers left Germany because the boys were being drafted into the Prussian army and they didn't like that. One son had already served, don't know if he came to US or stayed there. GGpa Schreiber was an alcoholic, I hear. There must have been some sort of a connection between the Marquarts and Schreibers beceuse they settled in Post Oak also. Or could have been a coincidence. Two of the Schreiber boys, George and John slipped off and listened to the Methodist people under a window because they could understand the German. The church people noticed them and asked them in and ended up converting them. Thats how the Schreibers came to be Methodists. George and John both wanted to be preachers, but since John married first George became a preacher and John was a lay-minister. George preached many years and is pictured in the Methodist conference headquarters in Fort Worth as one of the many German preachers in the Methodist. When your Dad visited us after your Mom Died, we took him out to a little town of Bracken, north of San Antonio where George preached for quite a while. I thought this was an interesting story. Hope the kids enjoy hearing about it. Love, Sue"
I thought that was a cool story. I also think it's funny that my mom's parents moved from the Methodist church to the Baptist church in their later years because they "liked the choir better." At least that's what my mom says.

Genealogy, I am doing it

I am going to preface this post by saying that this may not be interesting to anyone other than me and members of my family...though I don't think any members of my family read this.

A few weeks ago when my parents came to visit, my mom brought along an old box she found of old family pictures, wedding and graduation announcements, and some letters my maternal great-grandfather had written to my grandmother. I scanned them and did my best to transcribe them {great-grandpa didn't have the most legible handwriting}, and now, for some reason, I feel like I should post them here.

Kerens Texas 1-1-1943
Miss Naomi Tyler
Dear Baby I got your letter containing three dollars of course was small of it not much for its value but because it was from you. Some one I love I think loves me. Have been sick with cold for ten days or more. Have a awful cough but am improving. Think will be all ok in a few more days. Had a right smart snow last Sunday night but melted away next day. Been trying to rain ever since. Give Johnie and Wasnetta my love and best wishes. I am hoping and praying that this will be a happy and prosperous year for us all and believe that will all our people are well doing family well. Ruby [his daughter] was sick last week but is by  now. Dovie [his daughter-in-law] still works at the store. Poor old Lonnie [his son] is still a toogan(?) & has cooking cleaning house, & etc. May God’s silent blessings be graces for the family is the prayer of your Old Dad, N.S. Crawford
Come home when you can.

Waco Texas 2-1-1943
Miss Naomi Tyler
Dear baby, Have been examined. Will have my prostates removed tomorrow or next day. I am at the Hillcrest Memorial Sanatarium feeling ok. The operation will be simple and not serious so don’t worry about me. Will keep you advised for time to time about my condition. Be sweet and don’t worry.
Your loving Dad, N.S. Crawford

P.S. You can tell the others there.

Waco Texas 2-5-1943
Dear baby, just a few lines. I am doing fine. Think the Dr is going to let me sit up tomorrow. I feel like will go home by the middle of next week. One that loves you dearly, your old Dad.
Wrote this in bed.

 I never met my great-grandfather {in fact, my mother didn't either. he died about six months before she was born}, so I am grateful for these letters. They give me a little insight into the kind of person my great-grandfather was. You can tell that he truly loved my grandmother, and it seems that he had faith in God.

The letters were also revealing in another way:  he addressed Granny as Miss Naomi Tyler. My mom said she never knew her last name was Tyler once upon a time, meaning she must've had a third marriage she never told my mom about. Scandalous!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Hungry Girl: Twice-as-Nice Guapo Taco

We also made these Taco Bell knockoffs from Hungry Girl on Easter weekend.

I'd give it a B+. We basically followed the recipe this time, except we didn't get low carb tortillas or fat free refried beans (is there really such a thing? couldn't find any at our local HEB). I added a dollop of Greek yogurt on top as a substitute for sour cream. That was a good move.

In the process of making this recipe, I found out that my husband does NOT like soy crumbles. I have to admit that I didn't care for the way the crumbles tasted either. It was like they were overly seasoned. Next time I'd probably just use ground turkey or use less of the taco seasoning packet.

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Hungry Girl: Upside-Down Chocolate PB Cheesecake

For most of my life I've joked about being somewhat domestically disabled. I didn't learn how to prepare a meal (beyond boxed spaghetti) or do my own laundry until I went to college. Growing up, my mom always worked full time, and she'd usually prepare our one home-cooked meal of the week on Sunday while my dad and I were at church.  It worked for our family, but I wish I had taken more opportunities to assist her with preparing family meals.

I feel like now I want to make an effort to learn how to cook for my family, and as part of that, one of my goals for the year is to get in the kitchen more to try to make new things. In the last few weeks I've tried some new recipes! I'll try to post some of the ones I liked on here. Have you heard of Hungry Girl? I recently saw a TV segment with the author and decided to check out her site. It seems to me that her mission is to find ways to make foods that she enjoys eating a little healthier yet still tasty.

For our Easter dinner I made Hungry Girl's Upside-Down Chocolate PB Cheesecake. It was an incredibly easy recipe, no bake, and Henry and I really liked it. I took it to work and made another batch for my book club meeting too, and everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. I definitely recommend it if you are a fan of chocolate and peanut butter. It had more of a pudding-like consistency than cheesecake, but that didn't matter so much since it tasted good!

Upside-Down Chocolate PB Cheesecake from Hungry Girl

PER SERVING (1/8th of recipe, about 1/2 cup): 143 calories, 3.5g fat, 320mg sodium, 19.5g carbs, 1g fiber, 6g sugars, 6.5g protein -- POINTS® value 3* Super-rich, peanut-buttery, chocolate cheesecake filling topped with a layer of chocolate crunch!?! Yup...

1 packet Swiss Miss Sensible Sweets 25-calorie diet hot cocoa mix **I couldn't find this at the grocery store, so I just used the regular hot cocoa mix I already had at home**
One 8-oz. tub fat-free cream cheese, room temperature
2 Jell-O Sugar Free Chocolate Pudding Snacks
1/3 cup Splenda No Calorie Sweetener (granulated) **used regular sugar***
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups Cool Whip Free, thawed, divided
3 tbsp. reduced-fat peanut butter, room temperature **used regular peanut butter**
Two 100 Calorie Packs Oreo Thin Crisps or 3 sheets (12 crackers) chocolate graham crackers
Optional: Fat Free Reddi-wip
Dissolve cocoa mix in 2 tbsp. hot water. In a medium bowl, combine cocoa mixture with cream cheese, pudding, Splenda, and vanilla extract. Using a handheld electric mixer, whisk until smooth. Fold in 1/2 cup Cool Whip.
Transfer mixture to a large pie pan and set aside.
In a medium bowl, combine remaining 1 1/2 cups Cool Whip with peanut butter. Whisk until smooth and uniform in color. Spread over the "pie."
Cover and refrigerate until chilled and slightly firm, about 2 hours. Meanwhile, crush Oreo Thin Crisps or chocolate graham crackers into fine crumbs, and set aside.
Once ready to serve, top pie with crushed cookies/graham crackers. If you like, top each serving with a squirt of Reddi-wip. Enjoy with a spoon!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Last Night's Dream

We went on a vacation with my family to the Hawaiian islands...or maybe it was somewhere in Mexico. I didn't get to see much of the scenery because every time I would venture outside, I'd be attacked by wild goats.

Naturally I had to karate chop them to protect myself, but they kept biting and biting. It was very traumatizing. I think they were trying to kill me. Henry came to ward them off, and then we ventured into an old city. All of the townsmen were looking at us funny, and I was starting to wonder what was up. It was at this point that I found out my husband was training to be the next Harry Potter.

"Harry Potter?" I said, like the lady from the movie.

And then, like magic, the lady from the movie appeared and whisked Henry into a dark alley. Harry Potter training is intense so I didn't see Henry for the rest of the vacation.

When I woke up, Letterman was talking to Alias.

(Just kidding about that last part. That's a line from The Simpsons.)