Give Thanks

Friday, December 3, 2010


A few years ago while living in Flagstaff Arizona we tried to do fondue with the Randalls.  I believe Kevin was about 4 or 5 at the time.  It sounded so romantic and fun.  Dipping your favorites into some yummy ooey gooey cheese sauce.  Surely the kids would love it!  So Janet and I purchased (our first mistake) what looked to be some exotic cheese fondue that would certainly make it easy and successful.  We did not, however, read the ingredients. (our second mistake) 

Imagine the anticipation and delight.  Small children gathered round a pot heated over what surely was a small indoor fire (sterno) with sticks to stab their food with!  What joy!  Kevin eagerly stabbed a piece of french bread, gave it a substantial dunk and popped it into his mouth.  It was totally disgusting!!!  He was caught in the dilemma of being polite or spitting it out!  His eyes started to water and he wanted to choke!  Mom told him it's was okay to spit it out and we all agreed that this batch was BAD!!!

We discovered that it had some alcohol and some very strong cheeses it in.  Poor little guy.  But I can't help laughing at the memory.

So this year we decided to try again with better recipes and a different batch of grand kids.  This time we had the delight of Isaac (9), Sara (6) and Michael (4).  It was a huge success and very simple!  So here are the recipes for you.

Alton Brown’s Basic Cheese Fondue
1 Garlic Clove
10 to 12 oz of apple juice or cider
2 pinches of kosher salt
1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
1 Tbsp of Brandy (we used water)
5 oz Gruyere Cheese (We used a store brand of smoked swiss)
5 oz Smoked Gouda (see above note)
2 Tbsp cornstarch
Seasonings of your choice such as pepper, curry cayenne or herbs

Blanched Vegetables, Bread chunks or Sausages for dipping

1. Rub the pot with a garlic clove
2. Add 10 to 12 oz apple juice or cider
3. Add 2 pinches of kosher salt
4. Add 1 Tbsp of Lemon Juice
5. Add 1 Tbsp of Brandy or water
6. Bring to simmer
7. Grate 5 oz of Gruyere and 5 oz of Smoked Gouda and mix with 2 Tbsp of cornstarch
8. Add in handful increments and heat until bubbles just begin to break the surface. DON’T BOIL!
9. Make sure cheese melts completely before adding more. With final handful add seasoning
10. A pinch of pepper, ½ tsp of curry, cayenne or herbs. Whatever you like
11. Dip your favorite bread, blanched vegetables, or sausage such as bratwurst or kielbasa
**always measure the weight of your cheese after you've grated  it--don't judge by the ounces on the package.**

• 1 cup whipping cream
• 8 ounces premium chocolate, chopped
• 2 teaspoons orange liqueur (recommended: Grand Marnier)**Due to previous experience, we skipped this part***
• Various sliced fruits and/or dessert treats, for dipping


Over low flame, heat cream until warm, but do not bring to a boil. Pour in chocolate while stirring continuously. Mixture will become smooth. Stir in liqueur and transfer to a fondue pot. Dip with various fruits or dessert treats.
 **One thing we learned was to have your chocolate broken up before you start.
We did this on Wednesday evening and I think it should become a new tradition.  It was easy, it was fun and everyone had a full tummy when we were finished.  One more time saving tip:  go the the salad bar of your favorite grocery store and pick out already chopped and cleaned veggies.

Love to all,


Friday, August 20, 2010

Gone But Not Forgotten

The Chases have left us to live in Mr. Rogers Neighborhood.  I was exicted about John's success and encouraged the move wholeheartedly.  And then I realized I would not have Friday  play dates any more or 'dinner drop-ins' and I was sad.

I started my Saturday clean up chores and found reminders throughout the house.
Friends in the bathroom.

extra rations bought by Papa

Kids cups where you can reach them.

Then we took our last trip to 'Waterfall Park' which is one of the very best places to play.  It had been so hot lately, that most of the geese where under the trees in the shade.  Michael felt it was his duty to corrall as many as possible.

Top of the mountain
Last chance to feed the ducks
Michael the Geese herder
Picture rock
Love you all--be good--be happy.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Our Family Mission

Getting ready for our big event--3.? miles
In 1993 we wrote:

Our Family Mission

To Love Each Other...
To Help Each Other...
To believe in Each Other.

To Wisely Use Our Time
Talents and Resources.

To Bless Others...
To Worship Together...


Celebrating recent and future birthdays--Thanks Joel!

Kate et al

The Oregonians

Sara Mei & Kate
Michael "I will not smile! I will not smile! I will not smile!"

L-R  Kevin, Henry, Kate, Joy, Kenzie
Background--Cooper & Isaac

We missed you very much--Mark, Emily, and Jacob

Saturday, June 5, 2010

The Homestead

The Reese Family Homestead is for sale.

2828 Nw Hayes Av Corvallis, OR 97330
$339,900  6 Bed, 2.5 Bath 4,016 Sq Ft on 0.5 Acres (21,780 Sq Ft Lot

This makes me sad.  In an increasingly uncertain world, the homestead was one thing I foolishly thought would always be there.  It was a testament to hard work, faith and making your dreams become a reality.  Dar and Margaret saved and built their dream home from a plan they got from a magazine.  

I loved the organization and thought built into the closets and cupboards.  They had customized underground slots for their garbage cans.  The oversize garage was unheard of in homes of that era.   They had a courtyard of sorts behind the garage with an in ground slot for the clothes line.  They had one in the back too so you could get the best sun for drying clothes on the line.  Grandma had some amazing fuscia baskets that she would winter over and hang out only when it was certain that the weather would be warm enough.

Behind those doors was a completely organized sewing cupboard.  The closet to the left of the bedroom door was organized to hold the millions of slides Grandpa took.  It's also where they hid the silver!  Don't you just love those green countertops?  Very 70's!

There is a built in fire pit in the back yard. Sadly, in the 35 years I knew them, we only used it once.
Grandpa Reese was an expert in pouring concrete and did all the concrete himself.

The living room wall where Grandma's piano was placed.

The big picture windows looking out on the HUGE back yard. Grandma Reese made the curtains herself. The carpet is wool and she always said it would last forever.

This is the detached large garage/workshop.  Grandpa did all the work himself.  It's size was dictated by the size of the garage door which was given to him by a friend! 

I hope you have some happy memories of being there.  This is where your Dad came running down the stairs to the basement and gave me my engagement ring.  He was so cute.



Saturday, May 29, 2010

Silly Dreams

Last Thursday evening it was hot and humid in Missouri.  I was having trouble sleeping.  Early in the morning I fell into a fitful slumber and started to dream. 

I dreamt that for some reason, I had left these three behind and was trying desperately to find them and tell them that I hadn't given them away!  It was horrible!  I woke up and had my pajamas on inside out!

Just remember that I love you!


Saturday, May 22, 2010

To Janet

Dear Janet,

I came home the other evening to a quiet empty house.  I was filled with memories of coming home to family busyness and you in the kitchen fixing dinner.  Kevin or Kelly would be setting the table and we would be getting ready for the "Best, Worst, Service" ritual. 

I just wanted you to know that we appreciated your efforts so very much.  I miss green beans, brown rice and chicken.  I miss you everytime I eat a mollasses spice cookie or make your black bean soup.  I miss your homemade bread and fingerprints on the windows.  I miss bath time and baby kisses.

I know that you are enduring Heavenly Father's Real Life University and that your are worried and concerned about making your best contribution to your family's finances and well being.   I would not take that away from you as it will give you richness in overcoming and succeeding.  (Yes, you will succeed.)  I will not give you advice or tell you to make a particular choice one way or another.  That is not my place. 

I would just remind you that you are not unknown to your Father in Heaven.  He hears your prayers and knows your heart.  Here are some words from 3 Nephi 13 that may bring you comfort.

25 And now it came to pass that when Jesus had spoken these words he looked upon the twelve whom he had chosen, and said unto them: Remember the words which I have spoken. For behold, ye are they whom I have chosen to minister unto this people. Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink; nor yet for your body, what ye shall put on. Is not the life more than meat, and the body than draiment?

26 Behold the fowls of the air, for they sow not, neither do they reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not much better than they?

27 Which of you by taking thought can add one cubit unto his stature?

28 And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field how they grow; they toil not, neither do they spin;

29 And yet I say unto you, that even Solomon, in all his glory, was not arrayed like one of these.

30 Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is cast into the oven, even so will he clothe you, if ye are not of little faith.

31 Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed?

32 For your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.

33 But seek ye first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you.

34 Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. ....



Saturday, May 15, 2010

The following is the philosphy of Charles Schultz, the creator of the 'Peanuts' comic strip. You don't have to acutally answer the questions. Just read the story and you'll get the point.

  1. Name the five wealthiest people in the world
  2. Name the last five Heisman trophy winners
  3. Name the last five winners of the Miss America Pageant
  4. Name the ten people who have wont the Nobel or Pulitzer Pize.
  5. Names the last half dozen Academy Award winner for best actor and actress.
  6. Name the last decade's worth of World Series winners.

How did you do?

The point is none of us remember the headliners of yesterday. These are no second-rate achievers. The are the best in their fields. But the applause dies. Awards tarnish. Acheivements are forgotten. Accolades and certificates are buried with their owners.

Here's another quiz. See how you do on this one:

List a few teachers who aided your journey through school.

  1. Name three friends who have helped you through a difficult time.
  2. Name five people who taught you something worthwhile.
  3. Think of a few people who have made you feel appreciated and special.
  4. Think of five people you enjoy spending time with.


The lesson: The people who make a difference in your life are not the onew with the most credentials, the most money, or the most awards. They are the ones that care.

I love you all so much! I know that you sometimes feel like you don't really make a difference or that you don't have enough_______ (fill in the blank). But you do! Keep striving. Keep believing. Keep loving and facing each day with hope. The blessings will come. Thomas S. Monson said: "The future is as bright as your faith." Ensign, May 2009.