~Cozy Customs~

Favorites recipes, family traditions, holiday or vacation fun!

Wednesday, December 23, 2009


There's always someone that is difficult to buy for. And, since pleasing others is ingrained in my psyche I tend to scrutinize over what gift would be best for family and friends, so much so that this year I bought and returned gifts for one specific family member three times, only to purchase something I considered in the beginning. I'm still not sure I bought the right thing, but I do know I spent way too much time and energy on this gift... I hope that counts for something!

Whatever happened to it's the thought that counts? When I was young my siblings and I hoped for many things and usually found one of those hoped-for gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. I never remember expecting all of the things on my list or even something expensive. Still Christmas morning was very anticipated. We ooh'd and aah'd over basic clothing needs, like socks, school clothes and slippers. And the Christmas I received a 10 gallon aquarium, complete with dimestore fish, I was estatic.

Of course those were simpler days, with simpler expectations. So as the day approaches I pray my gifts will be well received, for they were lovingly purchased.

However no matter how much love and thought I put into my gifts, nothing could compare to the gift God's given us. He sent His greatest gift on Christmas, Jesus whose death lovingly purchased life for those who believe.

Friday, December 18, 2009


Two things I love about the holidays is being with family and friends and all the good food! I am an avid cook throughout the year, but around Thanksgiving and Christmas I dig out recipes that have stood the test of time. Like what would a holiday morning be without homemake cinnamon rolls. The sweet tradition started with my grandmother, passed on to my mother and now I carry it on. Pecan danties, homemade fudge and cut-out cookies also show up every year, again a gifted tradition from generations past. Peanut butter kiss cookies and yeast rolls are new to my immediate familyline, but practiced for over twenty years and holidays wouldn't be the same without them.
This year my treasured recipes were served at my annual Christmas Brunch, numerous holiday parties, a woman's rehab and as gifts for friends and neighbors.

Along with the dusted off recipes come a host of good memories of holidays past. Comfort food for all the right reasons!

Friday, December 11, 2009


To be blessed is more than a feeling of happiness. By dictionary definition it means - to be holy, sanctified, sacred... supremely favored. How does one become supremely favored? Consider Psalm 32:1-2
Blessed is he whose transgressions are forgiven, whose sins are covered. Blessed is the man whose sin the Lord does not count against him and in whose spirit is no deceit. NIV Or~
Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart for they will see God.
Psalm 33:12
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord, the people who chose his inheritance.
Luke 1:45
Blessed is she who has believed that what the Lord has said to her will be accomplished!

To be blessed is to know God through his son Jesus. And, there's nothing God wants more than to know us.
So be blessed!

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Scripture to bless you!

Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones.

Proverbs 16:24

What a blessing kinds words are. Every situation, regardless of the severity, is sweetened by kindness. As a wife, mother, friend, writer and ER nurse... I know that pleasant words go along way to de-escalate, comfort and encourage. And, I must say, I appreciate hearing them too!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Author Interview - Charlotte Holt

What made you want to write the book Praise the Lord for Roaches?
I wanted to give glory to God for what He had done in my life. As the song goes, He took my life, turned it around, and set my feet on solid ground. I wanted to encourage others in the faith, let them see what He can do in a life undone. I wanted to give hope to those who had problems, those who faced storms in their own lives. I wanted to make a difference in other’s lives. And I wanted to tell my story of what God did with the bad circumstances and turned them for good. How He turned everything for my good and His glory.
How hard was it to write about the tragedies of your life?
Some things were very hard to write. Yet, the telling of them and putting them in print brought about a healing in my spirit. As I wrote, many times I cried. Sometimes the pain laid heavy on my heart, but God bound up my broken heart and washed away much of the sadness. I also realized He had set me free from some of the bondage I had encountered in my life. The end result was so therapeutic. Recounting the deaths of my two sons brought pain, but also healing and courage to face another day with my Savior.
Where did you come up with the title?
My husband is an exterminator. Before we ever met, God had me praising the Lord for Roaches. The first time they disappeared, and the second time God sent me Charles. So, of course, I’m still praising the Lord for Roaches. Several years before I wrote the book, I told him, “Someday, I’m going to write my life’s story, and I’m going to name it Praise the Lord for Roaches!” When the time came to write the book, I knew I had to call it by that name. It fit.
What has been the greatest reward from writing?
I would have to say getting God’s message of love, grace, and mercy out to others. However, I have found many rewards. Feeling God’s pleasure when I write almost takes my breath away. The network of Christian authors I’ve encountered has been awesome. I’ve traveled to conferences and met authors, publishers, editors, and agents. The whole experience has been something I will always treasure. The precious friends I’ve made in my writer’s groups and critique groups bring joy to my life. God has opened doors and taken me places I would never have dreamed I’d go. I’ve had the opportunity to speak at churches and other groups, something I’ve dearly loved. God has given me boldness I don’t even understand myself.
What other things are you working on?
I’ve completed several other books, both fiction and nonfiction. The one I’m working on at present is a fiction set in the ‘80’s I call Ransomed and Redeemed. The story is a sequel to another, Rescued, set in the ‘60’s and ‘70’s of a young woman as she tries to overcome abuse and a low self-esteem and find her Charming Prince to rescue her. She finds only heartache until she discovers her true rescuer.

Saturday, December 5, 2009


* minutes used to seem like hours and hours seemed like forever.
* my children used to be... children.
* birthday's focused on gifts not age.
* I tasted my first perogi, plantain, sushi, crepe, godiva chocolate...
* I went to a luau, snorkled with turtles, walked in the Amazon jungle, stood in Red Square, climbed a pyramid, picnicked in Alaska, saw an active volcano, sat on a castle wall, became a wife and a mother...
* I remember when I only had dreams.

Now as I look back, I am thankful for the memories the Lord has allowed me to build.
I realize it is a priviledge to grow older... so I can remember when.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Stick to the basics.

Stick to the basics.

The world is full of new technology, but sometimes we need to get back to the basics to get the most out of life.

As the Christmas season is upon us, my hope is to focus on the reason we celebrate. Jesus, God's perfect gift to man, who was born so we can live. It's so easy to forget that Christ's birth is the cornerstone of the holiday when consumerism is all around us. But, what a special gift to give ourselves, when we take our eyes off the chaos and busyness of the season and experience real joy by spending more time in God's presence.