Saturday, November 9, 2013

Leader Enterprise - Nov. 6, 2013 - Veterans Day/Green Beans Coffee for the Troops & Baking Substitutions




 To honor our heroes on the upcoming Veterans Day, I've chosen to share this great story from the "Chicken Soup for the Military Wife's Soul". I feel like I could have written this story myself. I remember vividly the first time my Marine husband took me to the movie theatre on our first base as husband and wife, in Parris Island, SC. It was a very moving experience. (And we dropped a quarter into a turnstyle to get in!) I'm very grateful for my hubby's 20 years of military service. I truly loved the military life and cherish the many memories and friendships we made over our years away from home. To all who have served, we thank you for your service and sacrifice for our freedoms. Freedom isn't free and we Americans are grateful for the price you have paid. 


Our National Anthem by Gail Gross
"Joy is what happens when we allow ourselves to recognize how good things really are".
"My husband and I had not been married long when he took me to an AAFES (Army & Air Force Exchange Service) movie theater at Fort Hood,Texas.  We bought our tickets, putchased popcorn and carefully chose our seats to watch the film. The theater began to fill, and we waited for the curtain to go up.
My husband kept glancing at his watch as if he had to be somewhere, and, promptly at 1900 (7:00PM), he set his soda and his popcorn aside. I was about to say something to him when the curtyain began to part and I heard the sound of our national anthem being played. I scrambled to find somewhere to put my soda and popcorn, and finally made it to my feet and put my hand over my heart. This was certainly not the first time I had heard the national anthem, but it was the first time I heard it played in a theater before a movie.
I waited for the last note to sound and then looked at my husband's smiling face. He had purposely not told me so he could see my reaction. Needless to say, the next time we went to a movie on post, I was ready to stand with pride for the laying of our national anthem.
When we moved to Germany, we continued our habit of seeing movies at the theater on post. We had only been there a few days when we went to our first film. Just as before, we bought our tickets and popcorn and made our way to our seats. We stood for the playing of our national anthem, and before we got to "by the dawn's early light", tears were streaming down my face.This was my blessed country's sacred song, but I was no longer living between her shores. Experienceing these words while standing on foreign soil lent every utterance and declaration a deeper meaning.
My heart swells with newfound pride and patriotism each time I hear the sweet strains that remind me of the price of my freedom. I am proud to be an American and even more proud to be married to a soldier who has defended my freedoms and yours for nineteen years.
Only by leaving America did I truly understand and appreciate love of country, and now I now wait with great anticipation to return to the "Land of the free and the home of the brave".
God bless America."
I was recently blessed to have a dear Alaska friend come for a 5 day visit. She's a grandma and had just finished serving an 18 month tour in Afghanistan as a government employee. (They paid for her to fly home every 3 months for 2 week periods). She works for AAFES and loved being able to 'serve those who serve'. She's very brave and courageous in my eyes. I want to share with you, as she shared with me, as it was very heart stirring to know."I was on a crowded, cargo-packed helicopter bound for Dwyer from Leatherneck when a Marine Captain looked at me and shouted over the thump, thump of the rotors,“Ma’am, I apologize for the uncomfortable ride!” I told him not to even think about apologizing because at that very moment I was living a dream AND getting to cross an item off of my bucket list…riding in a helicopter!!!This Marine was loaded down, head to toe, with every piece of protective gear one could don. Along with his rucksack and more than one weapon, he would be getting off at the pit stop we were to make in an undisclosed location. Just before he hopped out of the helicopter, he turned to me and said, “And ma’am, thank you for your service.” I couldn’t speak for the lump in my throat, all I could do was look at him as tears welled up in my eyes. I think he understood thoughin those seconds of silence as our eyes met, mine filled with tears, that I was thanking him for his service and for his sacrifice, for fighting for my freedom, my family’s freedom, my way of life, my America, the land that I love so very much, and for putting himself in harm’s way to protect and keep you and me safe. He owed me no thank you whatsoever. I watched as he slipped out of the helicopter into the night’s darkness, I wished him Godspeed and prayed for him, a man I had not seen before and will never see again, a brave man, a warrior, a patriot, a hero. I was humbled."




I am not sure if I've previously shared this opportunity to minister to troops overseas, but I will be sending coffee again to them for Vets Day. It's a simple process through the Green Beans Coffee website. For only $2.00, you can send a cup of 'joe' to a 'Joe' overseas!! Go to www.greenbeanscoffee.com and click on 'cup of joe' tab.  What a simple way to say thanks. GBC slogan is 'Honor First, Coffee Second". A small gift of comfort like this can mean so much. A ladies group at my church just sent 27 cups of coffee and received thank you emails from all of them! I was able to send a monthly coffee card to my girlfriend while she was serving overseas so we could enjoy coffee 'together'. It's an amazing opportunity and outreach.
On a side note, if you can get your hands on a Nov/Dec issue of Simply Hers magazine, published in Hillsdale county, Ron and I are privileged to be featured for Vets day, complete with some cool photos too. (Yes, my Marine hubby agreed to be part of a woman's magazine! Will wonders ever cease? ha) 
With holiday baking looming ahead, I hope these "Homemade" recipe substitutions help you in a pinch.

DIY POWDERED SUGAR: Place 1 cup granulated sugar and 1 Tb. cornstarch in the blender; Blend on high continuously until the mixture is of uniform powdered consistency. Keep the lid on the blender until the powder settles.


DIY BROWN SUGAR: For every cup of brown sugar needed, use 1 c.white sugar and 2 Tb.molasses. 

DIY BAKING MIX(Bisquick):
6 c. all-purpose flour
3 Tb. baking powder
1 Tb. baking soda 
3  Tb. sugar
 2 tsp. salt 
1 c. shortening(like Crisco)
In large bowl, combine dry ingredients; cut in Crisco with pastry blender until fine consistency. It should be a fine meal with no lumps. Store in a large plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Use as you would store-purchased bisquick in any recipe.